Taliban announce 10-day ceasefire in Pakistan

February 15th, 2009 - 11:01 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Feb 15 (Xinhua) Taliban in Pakistan’s insurgency-hit Swat Valley Sunday announced a 10-day ceasefire to facilitate negotiations between the regional government and an Islamic group, media reports said.

“We are announcing a 10-day ceasefire,” said Muslim Khan, spokesman for the Swat Taliban in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province.

There was no response from the Pakistani Army yet.

However, Khan said the Taliban fighters would fire in self-defence if the security forces did not stop fighting.

Meanwhile, militant leader Sofi Muhammad, chief of banned Tehrik Shariat-e-Nifaza Muhammadi (TSNM), and the provincial government reached an agreement on the introduction of an Islamic judicial system, a TSNM spokesman said.

A formal agreement is likely to be announced Monday, TSNM spokesman Ezat Khan told reporters after the talks in the town of Timargarh in the Dir district.

A TSNM delegation will visit the Swat valley to convince the militants who are engaged in fierce battles to stop fighting and give an opportunity to the dialogue process.

A three-member delegation of the provincial government in the northwest and Muhammad discussed the demands for the introduction of an Islamic judicial system, known as “Nizam Adal” regulations.

Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told reporters that Nizam Adal would be introduced in the Malakand division, an area under PATA (Provincial Administered Tribal Areas) to ensure setting-up of courts for speedy trial.

Chief Minister of North West Frontier Province Amir Haider Khan Hoti will chair a meeting of parties, ministers, scholars and religious leaders to formally announce the agreement on the Islamic judicial system.

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