Moderate Sunni Muslims protest against terrorism in Pakistan
Hundreds of moderate Sunni Muslims of Pakistan held a protest march Saturday to condemn incidents of terrorism and extremism, DPA reported.
The demonstrators traveled from different parts of the country to Lahore, the capital of eastern province of Punjab and target of several terrorist attacks.
The march was sponsored by Sunni Unity Council, which claims it represents the majority Sunni Muslims of Pakistan.
Sahibzada Fazal Karim, one of chief organizers of council, said anyone committing terrorism or inciting people for violence is a traitor of the country and Islam.
"The government should immediately convene an all-party conference to take all religious leaders into confidence to counter terrorism and extremism," Karim said.
The protesters belong to the Brailvi Sunni sect, which espouses Sufi Islam and approves singing and dancing at the shrines of their saints. The practice is anathema to the Taliban and other extremist groups.
Militants have frequently targeted Sunni religious leaders and mausoleums of revered sufis.
More than 42 people were killed in Lahore in July, when two suicide bombers attacked the shrine of 11th-century saint Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery, commonly known as Data Ganj Baksh.
Authorities warned that militants could target the march and had urged organizers to cancel it.