‘Sharia doesn’t permit us to lay down arms,’: Muslim Khan

April 15th, 2009 - 11:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, Apr. 15 (ANI): Pakistani’s Taliban will not lay down their arms in a northwestern valley as part of a deal that included the introduction of sharia law but will take their ’struggle’ to new areas, a militant spokesman said today.

‘Sharia doesn’t permit us to lay down arms,’ Muslim Khan said by telephone. ‘If a government, either in Pakistan or Afghanistan, continues anti-Muslim policies, it’s out of the question that Taliban lay down their arms.’

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, under pressure from conservatives, signed a regulation on Monday imposing sharia law in the Swat valley to end Taliban violence.

The strategy of appeasement has alarmed US officials, while critics say the government has demonstrated a lack of capacity and will to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda.

According to Dawn, details of the deal have not been made public but government officials backing the pact have said part of it was that militants would give up their arms.

But a Pakistani Taliban spokesman in the scenic valley, a one-time tourist destination 125 km northwest of Islamabad, said they would be keeping their guns.

He said “When we achieve our goal at one place, there are other areas where we need to struggle for it.”

He further said ‘the decisions of Qazi courts will not be allowed to be challenged in any other court of the country, including the Supreme Court.’

Khan said militants would go to Afghanistan to fight US-led forces if Afghan Taliban called for help.

‘Our struggle is for a cause and that’s to enforce Allah’s rule on Allah’s land. We will send mujahideen to Afghanistan if they demand them,’ he said.

Earlier, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Muslim Khan has said that their men would surrender arms only after they see Sharia enforced in Malakand division of the Sawt Valley, after TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad has asked them to lay down arms after Pakistan President Asif Zardari approved the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation. “The Taliban should lay down weapons after the signing of the Sharia regulation by the president,” Sufi said while talking to reporters.”We will do that when the Sharia is enforced and we see changes on the ground,” the Daily Times quoted TTP spokesman Muslim Khan, as saying. “When we are satisfied with the practical steps, we will lay down weapons,” he said. He asked the Taliban to avoid displaying weapons in public in major towns of the division. But Sufi said the Taliban should now “play their role in development of the people and the area. Their demand for the imposition of sharia has been met and carrying weapons has no logic now.”

However, the new qazi courts would not hear cases against the Taliban, the TNSM chief said. “We intend to bury the past,” Sufi said. (ANI)

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