Pakistani Shiite Muslims rally to condemn suicide attacks on their mosques and ongoing killings, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, in Peshawar, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
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Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long enjoyed close relations, but Islamabad's new-found resolve for fighting the root causes of extremism has seen the Gulf state come in for rare criticism.Now the country's media and even government ministers have begun to question whether support from Saudi Arabia for seminaries is fuelling violent extremism -- bringing tension to the relationship for the first time.The Pakistani foreign ministry responded by saying that funding by private individuals through "informal channels" would also be scrutinised closely to try to choke off funding for terror groups.While the statement avoided mentioning Saudi Arabia specifically, it was widely interpreted as a rebuke. Donors in Saudi Arabia have long been accused of quietly funding terror groups sympathetic to the kingdom's hardline version of Sunni Islam.Last year the government said it had received a $1.5 billion "gift" from a friendly Muslim nation, widely thought by experts to be in fact a loan from Saudi Arabia.
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