The initiative will raise the status of prayer leaders among society and reduce their vulnerability to extremist recruiters or others seeking to influence them, authorities say.

Suicide bombers, as well as those who support and train them, are traitors against the state and Islam, according to a newly issued fatwa.

The discovery of the roughly 1,700-year-old statue, carved from Kanjur stone, was announced in November.

The classes are a religious obligation for Sikhs, but also promote peace and religious harmony, observers say.

The government is currently collecting statistics on the number of mosques and imams in the province.

The holy month is expected to start September 21.

Authorities are trying to cut off unwitting charitable donations to extremist groups.

More than 30 scholars unanimously agreed that suicide bombings and all acts of terrorism are haram.

Under the National Action Plan (NAP), the provincial government closed down 2,311 seminaries for 'suspicious activities'.

Leaders called for the 'strict adherence to Islamic ideology, which preaches love, brotherhood, harmony, mutual co-existence and non-violence'.