In recent years, the concept of suicide bombing has been linked to the Muslim religion although at other times in history, suicide bombers were prevalent in western society. A recent conference of leading clerics in Pakistan examined the issue of suicide bombing as it pertained to the basic values and beliefs of their society. They concluded that only a State, not an individual has the authority to call for jihad(holy war). The conference also confronted the issue of suicide bombing and issued a fatwa(edict) forbidding it. The Muttahida Ulema Council(MUC) was concerned about recent suicide attacks in Pakistan which have resulted in the death of hundreds of people. The MUC declared suicide bombing un-Islamic, and urged the government to cease military operations in the Tribal Areas and conduct negotiation with the people in those regions.
The conference of Islamic clerics demanded the government reveal any secret agreements made by their government with the United States an urged closer relations with Iran which they believe will be a firmer ally of their nation than the United States. The Council expressed concern that India had received special treatment pertaining to their nuclear program and Pakistan should be accorded similar rights.