‘All stakeholders on board before Pakistan’s Shariat accord’

February 17th, 2009 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) All stakeholders, including the military, were taken on board before signing an agreement with radical cleric Maulana Sufi Mohammad for enforcing Shariat laws in parts of Pakistan’s restive northwest, a media report Tuesday said.
“It is a corporate decision,” one source told The News, adding: “All pros and cons were thoroughly reviewed at the federal level before the NWFP (North West Frontier Province) government was given a green signal to ink the accord.”

The NWFP government and Sufi Mohammad’s Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) Monday inked a deal to impose the Nizam-e-Adl Shariat law in seven districts of the province, including the Swat valley, where the writ of the Pakistani Taliban largely runs.

An official privy to the protracted high-level discussions continuing for a month said the final decision was taken last week during intense consultations in which President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistani Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani and Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan participated.

He quoted the president as saying that if peace could be achieved by introducing the Nizam-e-Adl, it should be implemented forthwith. The TNSM chief would now have a big responsibility to restore peace and normalcy and assist the security forces in the task.

“Finally, everybody realised that the use of force has been tested and it has not produced tranquillity. Rather, terrorism has increased with security forces sustaining losses every day and the common man having been greatly affected,” the official said.

He said it has been made clear that any breach of the agreement would be dealt with an iron hand.

“Now, the brunt of bringing back calm also largely rests on the shoulders of Maulana Sufi Muhammad and his diehard followers. We have done our bit,” the official added.

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