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‘Secular’ ANP calls it ‘progressive’ move

Trying to counter critics who call today’s truce a surrender to hardline mullahs,leaders of the Awami National Party...

Written by Ruchika Talwar | New Delhi | Published: February 18, 2009 1:38 am

Trying to counter critics who call today’s truce a surrender to hardline mullahs,leaders of the Awami National Party who brokered the agreement claim this is a “progressive” step forward.

Ironically,the secular ANP’s success in last year’s elections in the NWFP — it was the single largest political force in the province — was seen as the victory of moderate forces.

“Considering that people were being butchered and their freedoms thwarted,this is a progressive move. Yes,we had to make some compromises in dealing with Islamic fundamentalists but if that allows our girls to study and work and our men to earn their bread ,the government has no objection in ensuring an easy life for the masses of Swat,” ANP spokesman Zahid Khan told The Indian Express today.

Under the agreement,Khan said,a special bench of the Peshawar High Court will be set up in Malakand. This court will be renamed Dar-ul-Quza (Qazi court) where a sessions judge — rechristened as Qazi — will hear cases with an Alim-e-Din (Quranic scholar) to deliberate upon “religious technicalities.”

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