Religious scholars must play role in countering terrorism: PM Nawaz

Published October 3, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File photo/AFP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File photo/AFP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said it was imperative for religious scholars to come forward and play their part in countering terrorism.

Addressing a delegation of religious leaders from different schools of thought at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad, the premier said religious scholars had the responsibility to preach their fellow Muslims that Islam was a religion of peace and not violence.

The premier termed the role of ulema as extremely vital for the country, which he said was going through a critical phase in its history. The premier also called upon religious scholars to show unity in their ranks.

Earlier in June, over 100 ulema from various schools of thought had declared that Zarb-i-Azb, the military operation being carried out against local and foreign militants in the North Waziristan tribal region, was jihad.

Also read: Fatwa declares Zarb-i-Azb a jihad

The decree said that the nation had the duty to support the operation in North Waziristan against militants who had murdered hundreds of innocent people and targeted schools, shrines and hospitals and that those opposing the action were rebelling against the state.

Pakistan launched military operation Zarb-i-Azb on June 15 following a brazen attack on Karachi's international airport and failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.

Nearly a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan, which is aimed at wiping out longstanding militant strongholds in the area, which borders Afghanistan.

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