Islamabad: The Taliban are "the true followers of Islamic ideology", says a Pakistan minister who also believes that "America is the biggest terrorist of the world".
According to federal Minister for Tourism Maulana Attaur Rehman: "Ulema and Taliban are the true followers of Islamic ideology and America is the biggest terrorist of the world, which is creating hatred against them."
Dawn quoted Rehman as saying at a public gathering in Allai area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Tuesday that terrorism could not be brought to an end until the US and the world gave equal rights and respect to the Muslims.
"It is a misconception that ulema and Taliban are against co-existence of people with different religions. In fact it is America which is against the interfaith harmony to maintain its hegemony on the world," said Rehman.
The Pakistan Army has been battling heavily armed Taliban guerrillas in the mountainous Waziristan region. The well-entrenched rebels put up a stiff resistance against the advancing soldiers.
The country has faced a string of terror strikes and the Taliban has been blamed for the Dec 27, 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi.