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Pro-Taliban Party Denounces Armed Struggle

Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman, head of Pakistan's pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulam-i-Islam Party (JUI) has denounced the armed struggle by Islamist militants.

He said on October 23 that his party would struggle through constitutional and democratic means to achieve its goal of implementing Shari'a law in the country.

"It is a unified decision of all the religious parties in Pakistan enshrined in this document that we call for an unarmed struggle within legal and constitutional limits," he said.

"Under the Deobandi school of thought it is has been agreed that, instead of an armed struggle, we will follow the way of the constitution and political reconciliation in Pakistan. JUI is the biggest forum of all religious leaders in Pakistan."

Rahman and his party are known for their sympathy and support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Addressing his supporters, Rahman said that "we can not impose our opinion on the people of Afghanistan. If they fight for Islam, we support them. If they are opposed to the United States, we support them. But it is their own choice to fight for this."

Describing the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan as "Afghans' war of independence" and a "fight for the protection of the faith," Rahman said there was no united and organized Taliban movement in Pakistan.

based on reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal