World

Pakistan army criticizes Islamic party leader who called slain Taliban leader a martyr

  • Supporters of a Pakistan religious group, Jamaat-ud-Dawwa, chant slogans during a protest to condemn U.S. drone attacks, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

    Supporters of a Pakistan religious group, Jamaat-ud-Dawwa, chant slogans during a protest to condemn U.S. drone attacks, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of a Pakistan religious group, Jamaat-ud-Dawwa, chant slogans behind a banner with Urdu that reads, "drone attacks on the innocent tribesmen is the open state terrorism of America," during a protest to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

    Supporters of a Pakistan religious group, Jamaat-ud-Dawwa, chant slogans behind a banner with Urdu that reads, "drone attacks on the innocent tribesmen is the open state terrorism of America," during a protest to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of a Pakistan religious group, Jamaat-ud-Dawwa, chant slogans during a protest to condemn U.S. drone attacks, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

    Supporters of a Pakistan religious group, Jamaat-ud-Dawwa, chant slogans during a protest to condemn U.S. drone attacks, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)  (The Associated Press)

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.