Pakistani clerics denounce Taliban tactics
By Saeed Shah and Margaret Talev | McClatchy Newspapers
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistani religious leaders and scholars Tuesday issued a strong denunciation of the tactics of Taliban militants, providing what could be major boost to the country's U.S.-backed battle against Islamic extremism.
The high-profile convention of clerics in the Pakistani capital was the second in three days to condemn suicide attacks and beheadings, two of the Taliban's favored tactics, as "haram," or contrary to Islam.
Both conventions also supported the Pakistani military offensive against Taliban in Swat and two adjoining districts, although almost all the clerics share the militants' goal of establishing Islamic law in Pakistan...
A deeply religious people, Pakistanis tend to take guidance from senior clerics, and their previous ambivalence and confusion about Islamic extremism rose in part from the clergy's silence or from denials that Muslims could have perpetrated acts of violence against civilians.
At the two religious conventions, however, there was even criticism of the Pakistani military's past patronage of jihadist groups.
"We are now harvesting the crop we sowed three decades ago," Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman told a lively convention of some 4,000 clerics on Sunday, ...
Taliban gunmen shooting couple dead for adultery caught on camera
Taliban gunmen have been filmed executing a surprised couple whom they repeatedly shot for the alleged crime of adultery
Their deaths were squalid, riddled with bullets in a field near their home by Taliban gunmen as the execution was captured on a mobile telephone.
In footage which is being watched with horror by Pakistanis, the couple try to flee when they realise what is about to happen. But a gunman casually shoots the man and then the woman in the back with a burst of gunfire, leaving them bleeding in the dirt.
Moments later, when others in the execution party shout out that they are still alive, he returns to coldly finish them with a few more rounds.
Their "crime" was an alleged affair in their remote mountain village controlled by militants in an area that was only recently under the government's sway. It was the kind of barbarity that has become increasingly familiar across Pakistan as the Taliban tide has spread.
But this time, with black-turbaned gunmen almost at the gates of Islamabad, the rare footage has shown urban Pakistanis what could now await them.
An SOS text message sent out on Friday by a terrified local resident, in an area of Swat called Bahrain, says that the Taliban have established total control. Asking not be named for fear of reprisal, he said that they have set up check posts at the entrance to Bahrain, from where they kidnap those they want, including young women.