Pakistani clerics condemn use of religion for terr

Around 40 religious leaders in Pakistan launched a front -- National Solidarity Council --to promote sectarian harmony and resolve disputes.

Islamabad: Around 40 religious leaders in Pakistan launched a front -- National Solidarity Council -- Monday to promote sectarian harmony and resolve disputes and oppose the use of religion for terrorism.

The religious leaders unanimously condemned the use of religion for acts of terror and said any such thinking was contrary to Islam.

"We all agree to condemn bloodshed and terrorism in the name of religion as we consider all such acts against Islam," Xinhua quoted the leaders as saying in a joint statement issued at the end of a day-long conference in Islamabad.

The National Solidarity Council was launched to work against sectarian hatred and promote harmony among different sectarian groups.

"Declaring members of any Muslim sects as non-Muslims and justifying their killings is un-Islamic," the statement said.

The statement asked all religious groups to avoid speeches which can hurt religious sentiments of any other sects.

It said publication of provocative material should be banned and leaders of all schools of thoughts should be given equal respect.

Differences among religious sects should be solved by mutual understanding, it said.

The conference appointed Qazi Hussain Ahmed as head of the new National Solidarity Council.

He said the group will be non-political and will have nothing to do with electoral alliance.

"It`s going to be an ideological platform which will work for safeguarding national interests and guide the nation in religious matters," Ahmed said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in sectarian attacks in Pakistan in recent months and Monday`s conference was considered a move to address the problem.

IANS

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