Suicide attacks do no service to Islam: Musharraf


Islamabad : Suicide attacks, bombings and "other terrorist acts" do no service to Islam, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said.

Support TwoCircles

Musharraf, under relentless attack from the West for not doing enough to crush Islamic militancy, said that "elements of terror" were misusing the name of Islam.

The Daily Times reported Wednesday that Musharraf was speaking to tribal leaders on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan Tuesday.

The president sought help from tribesmen in his country to evict what he said were Islamic mercenaries based in Pakistan so that the NATO-led forces could vacate Afghanistan.

To achieve peace in Afghanistan, it was necessary first to oust the mercenaries who have made the rugged tribal areas of Pakistan their home for many years, the Daily Times quoted him as saying.

"They have outlived their hospitality," Musharraf told the tribal 'Loya Jirga' (grand assembly).

He made it clear that the Pakistan government would be able to eject the "foreign elements" from tribal areas only with the support of the people living in the areas.

"We have been housing (foreign elements) and providing them hospitality for 28 years but now they are becoming a threat for our solidarity," said Musharraf, who in recent times has become a pet hate of radical Islamic groups.

Islamic fighters from around the world flocked to Pakistan following the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979. Many of them subsequently joined forces with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan.

The Daily Times said several tribal leaders, including MPs, boycotted the tribal assembly saying they were not consulted.

Musharraf's address comes amid frequent reports of firing from across the border by NATO-led forces that have caused casualties on the Pakistani side.

The president said that a joint Loya Jirga of the tribals from Afghanistan and Pakistan would be held soon.

–Indo-Asian News Service