Islamists take out peace march in SwatFebruary 18th, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Feb 18 (IANS) An Islamist group led by its chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad held a peace march in Pakistan’s Swat Valley Wednesday.
A large number of people on foot and vehicles thronged for the Tahrik-e-Nifaz Shariat Muhammadi peace march, Geo TV reported Wednesday.
Muhammad heads the group that has entered into a deal with the government to implement Shariat laws in parts of Pakistan’s troubled northwest.
He reached the Swat Valley Tuesday to hold talks with the Taliban for restoring peace in the area.
He is heading a delegation that would meet local Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah, who is also his son-in-law, for restoring peace and disarming the insurgents in the region, a media report said Tuesday.
Maulana Sufi Muhammad would remain in Swat till the restoration of calm, the report quoted the TNSM spokesperson Ameer Izzat Khan as saying.
He said that Muhammad would hold public gatherings in the valley to persuade the people, particularly those who had picked up arms, to stop fighting after the government Nizam-e-Adl regulation had been promulgated.
Muhammad and the North West Frontier Province government Sunday signed an agreement to enforce Shariat laws in Malakand division, which comprises Swat and its adjoining areas bordering Afghanistan.
Following the agreement, the insurgents announced a 10-day ceasefire in the insurgency-hit Swat Valley, once Pakistan’s most popular holiday destination.