Islamabad: A group of 50 prominent Pakistani clerics has issued a fatwa (edict) that states the killing of innocent people, targeted killings and suicide bombings are un-Islamic.
The Sunni Ittehad Council, an alliance of religious parties, said the fatwa unanimously condemned all forms of terrorism.
The clerics described targeted killings in Karachi and Balochistan, as well as sectarian and suicide attacks, as forbidden and against the spirit of Islam.
Those involved in the killing of innocent people are condemned to hell, the fatwa said.
Suicides attacks and related violence "smeared the name of Islam and weakened Pakistan", it said.
The clerics asked religious scholars and imams of mosques to highlight the sanctity of life as prescribed in Islam so that the killing of common people can be stopped.
The clerics also rejected US drone attacks within Pakistani territory, saying they should be stopped.
The "US aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan was unjustified" as innocent Muslims were killed, they said.
They clarified that the killing of innocent people to seek revenge on the US too amounted to tyranny and injustice and was an un-Islamic act.
"The place of war against the US is not in Pakistan," the clerics said in their fatwa.
Those who are fighting against "US aggression in Afghanistan" are mujahideen but people attacking mosques, shrines, bazars, public places, funeral gatherings, hospitals, defence institutions and the security forces of Pakistan are terrorists and rebels against Islam, the decree said.
The decree stated that jihad (holy war) is "a tenet of Islam and also a sacred obligation for every Muslim".
However, to start jihad without fulfilling all its prescribed conditions "can become the reason for chaos in the land, which is bringing disgrace to Islam and Pakistan".