Hundreds of Muslim Pakistani clerics have issued an Islamic directive, forbidding suicide bombings as the country has been plagued with violence carried out by several militant outfits.
In a book unveiled by the government at an official ceremony on Tuesday, more than 1,800 clerics declared bombings to be forbidden, or “haraam.”
The Pakistani scholars, who declared, "No individual or group has the authority to declare and wage holy war," said bombings violated key Islamic teachings and, as such, were forbidden.
The book, which is prepared by the International Islamic University, seeks to curb "terrorism" that has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties across the violence-hit country since the early 2000s.
President Mamnoon Hussain, while speaking at the ceremony, expressed confidence that the unanimous fatwa would help address the challenges posed by terrorism, extremism and sectarianism.
"This fatwa provides a strong base for the stability of a moderate Islamic society," the Pakistani president wrote in the book. "We can seek guidance from this fatwa for building a national narrative in order to curb extremism, in keeping with the golden principles of Islam."
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, while addressing participants of the ceremony, said, "It is a matter of concern that after 70 years, the dream for Pakistan, the dignity and justice we had to provide the nation, were not realized."
"Pakistan was not created so it could be just one more addition to a list of the world's poorest countries. It is necessary to show the world that even in this modern day and age, the Muslims of South Asia have the ability to form a successful nation on the basis of Islamic principles," the minister said.
For years, Pakistan has witnessed violence by militants that often use bombers. Attacks are frequently condemned as immoral, especially when civilians are killed, but militants view the tactic as their most effective weapon.