Posted by: becketfund | March 12, 2009

Pakistan: Sharia Law Implemented

SWAT VALLEY – Sharia courts have re-opened in four administrative areas of the troubled Swat valley in northwestern Pakistan, officials in the area say, the BBC reported on March 12.  All the four areas are considered to be Taliban strongholds.  The judges of the courts were formally inaugurated on March 12 by cleric Sufi Mohammad in front of a large gathering of spectators from all over Swat. The cleric signed the Sharia deal with the government last month and is now mediating between it and the Taliban.  Sufi Mohammed was instrumental in the campaign for Sharia law to be imposed in parts of Swat in 1994.  The four courts which re-opened on March 12 are in the regions of Khwazakhel, Kabal, Varikot and Matta.  In February 2009 the North West Frontier Province government signed an agreement with Sufi Mohammad’s proscribed Tanzim-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) for the implementation of the Sharia justice system in Swat.  Sufi Mohammad, who opposes militancy, led thousands of TNSM workers into Swat to set up a peace camp there and to start talks with Maulana Fazlullah.  More than 1,000 civilians have died in shelling by the army or from beheadings sanctioned by the Taliban in Swat and thousands of people have fled the former tourist haven.  

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