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Pakistan army condemns naming Taliban chief martyr

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November 10, 2013 12:05 PM EST | AP


ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistan army has condemned a prominent Islamic political party leader who called the Pakistani Taliban leader killed by a U.S. drone strike a martyr.

Syed Munawar Hasan, the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, told a Pakistani TV station earlier this month that he thought slain Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was a martyr. He later implied that Pakistani soldiers killed while fighting Islamic militants are not martyrs because they are allied with the U.S.

The army condemned Hasan's comments as "irresponsible and misleading" in a statement Sunday and demanded that he apologize.

The Pakistani Taliban have killed thousands of civilians and security forces in their quest to overthrow the country's democratic government and impose a harsh version of Islamic law.