Has the State of Pakistan surrendered to radical Islamists in Swat?

well done, Qazi and Imran Khan, poodles of ISI and Taliban.

Government and TNSM agree on sharia enforcement in Swat

* Implementation likely to come into effect in coming week

PESHAWAR: The NWFP government and Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) leader Maulana Sufi Muhammad have agreed to the implementation of sharia in Malakand division of Swat, a private TV channel reported on Saturday.

According to the channel, an agreement was signed between the two parties after meetings between the NWFP government and TNSM in Peshawar.

Under the agreement, Sufi Muhammad, through his public congregations in Matta area of Swat, would build consensus among people; Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Fazlullah would announce ceasefire in Swat; all girls’ schools in the area would be re-opened; and Sufi Muhammad would help establish a strong administration in the area, the channel added.

Implementation schedule: Meanwhile, sources told Daily Times the NWFP government would likely announce the implementation of sharia in Malakand in the coming week after receiving the “go ahead” from the federal government. They said the government had convened a meeting of political parties; elected members of the national and provincial assemblies from Swat; and members of the provincial cabinet in Peshawar on Monday to decide on the implementation of the Shari Nizam-e-Adl Regulations.

The NWFP information minister said the government would present the draft sharia law before the participants of the grand meeting to obtain their suggestions on the implementation of the system in Malakand. daud khattak/daily times monitor


Sufi, elders to attend jirga at Presidency soon

LAHORE: A jirga of Swat elders and Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) leader Sufi Muhammad will likely be held at the Presidency soon, according to sources. A private TV channel reported on Saturday the jirga would be held to discuss the situation in Swat with its likely participants being invited on Monday or Tuesday. They said the government was seeking recommendations to establish peace in the area after Swat locals organised peace rallies. The sources also said the date of the jirga would be announced in the coming week. daily times monitor


Taliban announce cease-fire in Pakistan valley

By NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press

ISLAMABAD – The Taliban announced a 10-day cease-fire in Pakistan’s Swat Valley on Sunday after freeing a Chinese hostage during peace talks with the government, while an abducted American threatened with imminent death by his kidnappers remained missing.

Past peace deals with militants, including in Swat, have failed. Any agreement this time could spark renewed U.S. criticism that peace talks merely give militants time to regroup and rearm.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan called the release of Chinese engineer Long Xiaowei a goodwill gesture as government officials and Taliban sympathizers said they had come to terms on introducing elements of an Islamic judicial system in Swat and surrounding areas.

“In view of these developments, we announce a unilateral cease-fire for 10 days, but we reserve the right to retaliate if we are fired upon,” Khan told The Associated Press.

The Swat Valley was once a tourist haven and is now believed to be mostly under control of the militants, who have long demanded imposition of Islamic, or Shariah, law. Regaining Swat is a major test for Pakistan‘s shaky civilian government because, unlike the semiautonomous tribal regions along the Afghan border where al-Qaida and Taliban have long thrived, the valley is supposed to be fully under its control.

A string of recent attacks on foreigners — including the apparent beheading of a Polish geologist — have underscored the deteriorating security conditions.

On Friday, the kidnappers of American U.N. official John Solecki threatened to kill him within 72 hours and issued a 20-second video of the blindfolded captive saying he was “sick and in trouble.”

U.N. officials said Sunday they were still trying to establish contact with the gunmen who seized Solecki on Feb. 2 in Quetta, a southwestern city near the Afghan border.

The kidnappers have identified themselves as members of the previously unknown Baluchistan Liberation United Front, indicating a link to separatists rather than to Islamists. The captors have demanded the release of 141 women allegedly detained in Pakistan, but Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik has denied that the 141 are being held.

Baluchistan provincial government spokesman Syed Kamran said it was offering a $31,363 reward “for any information leading to the recovery of the kidnapped U.N. official.”

Pakistani government officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the announced cease-fire. Officials would not comment on whether a ransom was paid or militants were freed in exchange for the Chinese engineer’s release Saturday. Long’s freedom was secured days before a planned visit to China by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.


Associated Press writers Henry Sanderson in Beijing, Riaz Khan in Peshawar and Habib Khan in Timar Garah contributed to this report.