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'Sectarian divisions confuse Muslims'

The President said that the growing sectarian divide in Pakistan makes Muslims wonder about their own identity.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 20:15 IST

The growing sectarian divide in Pakistan makes Muslims wonder about their own identity, President Pervez Musharraf has said, while warning stern action against militant groups of various sects.

"Sometimes I get confused about my own identity as a Muslim and I have to think really hard on which sect I belong to," Musharraf, who visited Karachi on Sunday to review the situation after a blast at a Sunni congregation, said at a gathering of religious scholars.

Musharraf made the comments while referring to the sectarian divisions. The entire leadership of Sunni Tehrik was wiped out in the bomb attack in which 57 people were killed and over 200 injured.

Leads in the probe into the attack have suggested the involvement of one or two suicide bombers, prompting the police to suspect the hand of a rival sectarian organisation.

Musharraf also warned stern action against banned groups with names like Sipah-e-Sehba, Jaish-e-Muhammad or Lashkar-e-Jhagvi.

"Pakistan Army is the sole Sipah or Lashkar of this country...There was no relevance of such groups," he was quoted in the media here as saying.

He also promised to look into the allegation by Jamat-e-Islami that Mutthahida Quami Movement, which is part of the coalition in Sindh and Central government, was behind the bomb attack. MQM has denied the allegations.

Harping on the need for unity among all sects, Musharraf called upon the scholars to work towards shunning those differences that had been plaguing the Muslims.