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Islamic Scholars In Pakistan Condemn Suicide Attacks, Warn Government

Pakistani cleric Sahibzada Fazal Karim
Pakistani cleric Sahibzada Fazal Karim
Hundreds of religious scholars in Pakistan have condemned suicide attacks and urged the state and government to protect people against terrorists, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

The announcement came during a one-day convention of the Sunni Ittehad Council, a representative body of Sunni religious scholars, at the historic Minar-e Pakistan Square in the eastern city of Lahore on April 17.

In a joint declaration, members of the Ittehad Council and religious scholars from several other Muslim countries declared that suicide attacks are haram (forbidden) whether against civilians, security forces, or a particular person.

Sahibzada Fazal Karim, the head of the Ittehad Council and a member of Pakistan's parliament, told RFE/RL that suicide attacks are against the teachings of Islam.

"A suicide attack is absolutely haram whether it is carried out in a market, against the security forces, or a [particular] person," he said. "It is completely haram."

Karim said the edict regarding the suicide attacks has already been issued by muftis from 55 Muslim countries.

He urged the Pakistani government to ensure the safety of its citizens. Karim said people will hold a countrywide strike if the government fails to control the ongoing wave of terrorism in the country by September.

"We have issued the September 11, 2011 deadline to the government to launch a crackdown on terrorism, hooliganism, and bomb blasts," he said.

Pakistan this year has experienced its worst spate of terrorist attacks since early 2009.

Last week, a report released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent rights watchdog, said about 2,500 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2010.