February 17, 2009 2:13:33 am
Pakistan agreed to impose Islamic Sharia law and suspend a military offensive across the Swat valley in the northwest of the country,hoping to pacify the Taliban and stop the Islamist insurgency from spreading inward from the Afghan border areas.
The concessions will likely concern the US,which has warned Pakistan that appeasement and the lifting of pressure allow the Al-Qaida and Taliban to rearm and regroup.
The truce announcement came after talks between representatives of the government and local Islamists including Maulana Sufi Mohammed,father-in-law to Maulana Fazlullah,leader of the Taliban in Swat.
Amir Haider Khan Hoti,Chief Minister of NWFP,said authorities would impose Islamic law in the Malakand region, which includes the Swat Valley. The one-time tourist haven has passed almost completely into the hands of Islamist militants who have beheaded residents,burnt girls schools and attacked security forces.
Hoti gave few details,but said the main changes were included in existing laws stipulating Islamic justice that have never been enforced.
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