Swat accord can be re-looked: GilaniApril 22nd, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) Faced with an increasingly belligerent Taliban, who have advanced to within 100 km of this federal capital, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday a controversial peace deal with the militants could be re-looked if peace did not return to Swat.
“Parliament had unanimously approved it (the peace accord). The president gave his assent to it. It is meant to restore peace. If peace does not return, we can think otherwise,” Gilani told reporters here.
At the same time, he expressed hope that peace would return to Swat.
His remarks came a day after the Taliban took firm control of Buner district in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP, just 100 km from this federal capital. The militants writ already runs in much of Swat and six other districts of what is collectively termed the Malakand division.
Asked to comment on remarks on the judiciary by Taliban-linked radical cleric Sufi Mohammad, who had inked the controversial Feb 16 peace accord with the NWFP government, Gilani termed them the views of an “individual”.
“Sufi Muhammad’s views are of an individual,” APP quoted Gilani as saying.
Addressing a huge rally in Swat Sunday, the cleric had termed high courts and the Supreme Court “un-Islamic” and said that appeals against the verdicts of the qazi courts that would be established under the Sharia laws could only be heard by Islamic appelate courts.
He had also said Sharia laws would be imposed across Pakistan.
Gilani also called for national unity to fight terrorism.
“There is a problem of terrorism. This menace can only be contained by all the political forces of the country who should join hands to confront it,” the prime minister maintained.
Under the peace deal Sufi Mohammad and the NWFP government had signed, Sharia laws would be imposed in the Malakand division, in return for the Taliban laying down their arms.
At that time, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari had said he would ratify the accord only after peace returned to the area. He, however, backtracked in the face of strident international protests against the deal and tossed it to the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.
The National Assembly passed the Sharia Nizam-e Adil Regulation by a majority April 13 after the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), a junior partner of the ruling coalition, walked out in protest. Zardari ratified it the same night and the Sharia laws came into force two days later.
Significantly, when the Regulation was presented before the National Assembly, it was preceded by a warning from the Taliban that any legislator who did not endorse it would be deemed a “non-Muslim” - meaning that he or she would be considered an apostate and deemed worthy of being killed.
The Nizam-e Adl Regulation was Monday challenged in the Supreme Court on the ground that it was out of sync with Pakistan’s laws.
- Sharia for Swat challenged in Supreme Court (Second Lead) - Apr 21, 2009
- MQM to move Supreme Court against cleric Sufi Mohammad - Apr 21, 2009
- Ceric's remarks on judges, Sharia not worrisome: Gilani (Roundup) - Apr 21, 2009
- Swat Taliban inch closer to Islamabad (Second Lead) - Apr 22, 2009
- Sharia in Swat dependent on peace: Gilani (Lead) - Apr 21, 2009
- Taliban just 100 km from Islamabad (Roundup) - Apr 22, 2009
- Swat Sharia laws rock Pakistan's Senate - Apr 20, 2009
- Gilani announces Swat package, to visit area - Apr 17, 2009
- Sharia verdicts cannot be challenged in Supreme Court: cleric - Apr 16, 2009
- Swat Taliban move closer to Islamabad (Lead) - Apr 22, 2009
- Zardari approves Sharia laws for Swat: Minister (Night Intro) - Apr 14, 2009
- After Swat, TNSM vows to implement sharia law in other parts of Pakistan - Apr 14, 2009
- Pakistan's National Assembly approves Swat peace deal (Night lead) - Apr 14, 2009
- Taliban cleric vows to impose sharia across Pakistan - Apr 19, 2009
- Only provincial government can appoint Sharia judges: Minister - May 04, 2009
Tags: asif ali zardari, assent, frontier province, gilani, high courts, islamabad, malakand division, militants, mohammad, national unity, north west frontier, pakistani prime minister, peace accord, peace deal, radical cleric, raza, sharia laws, swat, writ, yousuf