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Indian, Pakistan Muslim religious leaders call for peace

Terrorism in the region can be combatted if the two countries fight religious extremism

Swati Deb, New Delhi

Swati Deb, New Delhi

Updated: March 21, 2016 09:42 AM GMT
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Indian, Pakistan Muslim religious leaders call for peace
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A group of Muslim clerics from India and Pakistan said terrorism in South Asia can be combatted successfully if the two traditional rival neighbors respect each other and combat religious extremism.

They were speaking during the four-day World Sufi Forum that ended in New Delhi March 20. The Sufi movement is a branch of Islamic mysticism based on a fusion of Hindu and Muslim spirituality that took root in South Asia.

"India and Pakistan have fought four wars and have achieved nothing," said Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri who addressed the gathering.

"India's enemy is not Pakistan; Pakistan's enemy is not India. But the enemy for both countries is terrorism," he said.

Both India and Pakistan should act to check terrorists using religion to spread extremist activities, he added.

"Over the last few decades, there have been concerted efforts to weaken Sufism in India and replace it with an extremist and radical ideology," said cleric Hazrat Syed Muhammad Ashraf, a prominent Sufi leader in India.

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