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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan Shariat deal in danger as pro-Taliban leader quits

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 10, IRNA - A senior pro-Taliban leader Thursday quit a peace deal he had struck with the Pakistan government to enforce Islamic law in parts of restive northwest, including Swat valley, saying the central government is not sincere in implementation of Islamic laws.

In February, Sufi Muhammad, leader of the banned ‘Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi’ (TNSM), and the government of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) signed the agreement to abolish all the un-Islamic laws.

Taliban, led by Maulana Fazlullah, declared ceasefire after the agreement.

The security forces also stopped offensive against the militants. However the troops remained in the region.

“I am leaving the area and withdraw from the peace deal as the federal government is not sincere in implementation of the Islamic laws,” Sufi Muhammad told a news conference.

Sufi’s announcement raised fears over eruption of violence in Swat as hundreds of people have already died in fierce fighting since troops launched an offensive against Fazlullah's fighters in October 2007.

Before the agreement was signed, Taliban militants had enforced own laws in the region, torched girls' schools and attacked government buildings, courts and security forces.

Several past deals with militants have failed and have been criticised by the US as giving time to militants to re-group.

A peace pact signed by the Taliban and the NWFP government in May last year collapsed within months.

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