Islamabad talks to religious group to disarm Taliban

April 26th, 2009 - 2:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 26 (IANS) Disarming the Taliban militia in Pakistan and granting general amnesty to them was being discussed by the government with a religious group that brokered a peace deal with the Islamist militants in the restive Swat valley, according to a media report Sunday.
The North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) were negotiating the option of announcing general amnesty and completely disarming the Taliban in the Swat Valley, The News said Sunday.

The newspaper quoting sources said the TNSM was seeking the release of 200 Taliban prisoners.

The group has expressed willingness that its top clerics will “issue a joint religious edict asking for the disarmament of the Swat Taliban”, the news paper said quoting a source who is part of the negotiating team.

“The details of the edict are being finalised for achieving the major objective of disarming the Taliban.

“Once agreed, it would be signed by four to five top TNSM scholars, including Maulana Sufi Muhammad. The edict would demand from all the Taliban to lay down their arms, respect the rule of law and help the government in maintaining its writ in Swat and the Malakand Division,” the source told The News.

Several Taliban fighters would lay down their arms before a qazi - Islamic judge - in front of the media, once the religious edict was issued. This would follow the voluntary disarming of Maulana Fazlullah’s private militia.

The two sides are negotiating the details to ensure the success of the Feb 16 peace deal between the government and the militia.

–Ind-Asian News Service


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