Posted by: becketfund | April 13, 2009

Pakistan: Government Passes Swat Sharia Law

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has signed a controversial bill introducing Islamic Sharia law in the Swat region, the BBC reported on April 13. The move comes after parliament passed a resolution urging Mr Zardari to honor a promise made to the Taliban in February 2009 in exchange for an end to the Taliban insurgency. Mr Zardari had previously resisted signing the deal, which has been heavily criticized by his Western allies over concerns that it could lead to human rights abuses and that an Islamic government could potentially provide help to militants in the region. The bill introducing Sharia courts in the troubled Malakand division, comprising six north-western districts including Swat, was sent to parliament for consideration on April 13, and Sharia courts have already begun operating in the region.

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