Pakistan's leading Muslim clerics on Monday denounced all forms of terrorism as the greatest crime against Islam, humanity and the country, as they asked the people to back the security forces in their campaign against the militants.
Support for the government's ongoing campaign against the Taliban and other militant groups was announced by groups of ulema or clerics after meetings held in Karachi and Lahore.
Clerics from different schools of thought who met at the chief minister's house in Karachi expressed concern at the security situation in the country and declared terrorism in all forms as the "greatest crime against Islam, humanity and Pakistan".
A statement issued after the meeting said all persons involved in terrorist acts are enemies of Islam, Pakistan and humanity. The gathering also offered prayers for clerics, members of armed forces and others killed in acts of terrorism.
In Lahore, the Aalmi Tanzeem-e-Ahle Sunnat said all acts of terrorism were against Islam. The organisation's chief Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri said, "Civilians and personnel of armed forces and law enforcement agencies laying down their lives in the fight against terrorists are martyrs as they have launched a jehad against people who have created divisions (among people)."