Taliban Flouts Deal to Disarm in NW Pakistan

Critics see signs that nascent deal won't quell violence
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2009 11:27 AM CDT
Taliban Flouts Deal to Disarm in NW Pakistan
Pakistani people share sweets to celebrate the deal to impose Islamic law in Swat region of Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

The Taliban's refusal to disarm in Pakistan's Swat province—believed to be a provision of the recent deal that officially brought Islamic law in the area—raises doubts about the prospects for peace, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The strict cleric who brokered the Swat deal agreed to the weapons ban, but has limited power over area insurgents, Bloomberg adds.

"People will be told to give up weapons and in the region live in peace," he said yesterday. The wrangling calls into question whether militants will honor their vow to end years of fighting in the former tourist destination. "Sharia doesn't permit us to lay down arms," a Taliban rep told Reuters. "If a government, either in Pakistan or Afghanistan, continues anti-Muslim policies, it's out of the question that Taliban lay down their arms."
(More Pakistan stories.)

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