MAZAR-i-SHARIF - The silence of religious leaders on suicide attacks is "embarrassing", northern Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor said Saturday at a ceremony commemorating Burhanuddin Rabbani who was assassinated a year ago by a suicide bomber.
"It is really embarrassing that the religious scholars and the Ulema National Council see all the crimes and just release a statement to the President. Why do they not say to the people that those who are destroying, killing are the criminals? Killing is the biggest sin and forbidden in Islam," he said at the ceremony in Balkh's capital Mazar-e-Sharif.
Noor also said the process of peace negotiations with the Taliban is a failed one, remarking that the militants are not interested in peace nor show any sign of joining peace negotiations.
He added that the indiscriminate nature of suicide attacks showed this.
"They are not considering the place of these attacks. They launch attacks in bazaars, market places, mosques, wedding parties and funeral ceremonies. They just like bleeding. They are bloodthirsty," Noor said.
Rabbani was head of the government-linked Afghan High Peace Council when he was killed in his home by a suicide bomber, who posed as a negotiator, on September 20 last year.
Noor's comments come a day after the Taliban released a statement saying there was a big difference between suicide and the martyrdom of suicide bombers.
"Suicide is self-killing and martyrdom attack is seeking of martyrdom willingly," the statement said. "The reason behind suicide is frustration from life and the seeking of martyrdom is actually seeking the consent of Allah. It elevates the word of Allah and strengthens the Muslims. The objective is to frighten the enemy, kill them and eventually defeat them."
The Taliban said in the statement on its website that there were scholars who approved suicide as a form of attack, within certain "strict" conditions.
"The first condition is the loftiness of target and abstain from public casualties," it said, adding that civilian casualties were often the "sly" work of the enemy.
"It is repeatedly reminded to the Mujahidin to desist from public casualties and be cautious in choosing the target. But most of the time our sly enemy and their stooges blast bombs amid the masses and then blame Mujahidin for it. They have done it in other countries as well."
The statement ended with the Taliban lamenting the failure of the country's Mujahedeen to condemn the cruelty being inflicted on the Afghan people.
"It is a regret and even unjust that the people who call themselves Mujahidin, do not talk about Jihad in their meetings. They do not ponder upon the ways and means of ending the aggression. They do not say anything about the cruelties of enemy over the masses," it said. (Tolo News)