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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Islamic courts start function in Pakistan's insurgency-hit Swat

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 19, IRNA -- Islamic courts started function in Pakistan’s insurgency-hit Swat valley as was demanded by the Taliban militants, a senior official said Wednesday.

Qazis or judges started presiding over courts in the whole Swat valley to pacify the armed Taliban fighters, who fought fierce battle against the security forces over the past 18 months, Commissioner Syed Muhammad Javed said.

Javed said that on the first day of the function over 30 cases were filed in Islamic courts with Qazis.

The cases related to robberies, loan default and fighting and other minor issues, according to court officials.

Last month a senior Pakistani cleric and the government in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), of which Swat is a part, signed an agreement to introduce Islamic judicial system known as ‘Nizam-e-Adal Regulations’.

Taliban had declared unilateral ceasefire after the agreement was signed.

The government had also announced ceasefire.

Hundreds of people mostly civilians have been killed in the fighting over the past one-and-half month and other hundreds of thousands displaced and fled to other areas.

Sufi Muhammad, who leads banned outfit Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TSNM), struck the deal with the government in NWFP to end the violence.

Sufi asked the regular judges on Monday not to come to the courts from March 17 as Islamic judges or Qazis will start hearing the cases.

Commissioner Javed said that the authorities have revived the Islamic courts, those were first introduced in early 90s.

Javed said he visited several courts and ensued that the Qazis will receive and hear complaints under Islamic laws.

Under the agreement, all un-Islamic laws have also been abolished in parts of the northwest including Swat valley.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for TNSM Ezat Khan said that a list of 300 Taliban prisoners have been handed over to the government with a demand for their release.

Release of prisoners is one of the main points in the agreement.

Taliban and the government will free each other's prisoners.

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