Posted by: becketfund | May 3, 2009

Pakistan: Court Announces Appellate Court in Northwest

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has forged ahead with its  severely strained peace deal with Taliban militants, announcing a new Islamic appellate court for part of its northwest provinces, the AP reported on May 3.  Under the peace deal struck in February, the government agreed to impose Islamic law in the Swat Valley and surrounding areas that make up the Malakand Division. The pact appeared to embolden the Taliban in Swat, who soon entered the adjacent Buner district.  Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the province’s information minister, said on May 2 that the formation of the appellate court — the Darul Qaza — meant the government was close to fulfilling its obligations. He said two judges have been appointed to the panel, and more will be named later.  Already a handful of judges trained in Islamic law, called qazis, have been hearing relatively routine disputes in Swat. Hussain said more such judges would be named throughout the rest of Malakand Division.

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