Taliban declares indefinite ceasefire in Swat (Lead)

February 24th, 2009 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Feb 24 (IANS) The Taliban Tuesday declared an indefinite ceasefire in Pakistan’s restive Swat valley where Islamabad has allowed the Taliban to impose Shariat (Islamic law), Geo TV reported.
Maulana Fazlullah, leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has held a peace parley last week after the Shariat imposition. He met Maulana Sufi Muhammad, chief of the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), a group that is trying to restore peace in the restive area near the Afghanistan border.

Maulana Sufi Muhammad is also the father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah.

Maulana Sufi Muhammad has said he would return from Swat only after achieving the objective of restoring peace and disarming the insurgents in the region.

The TNSM chief had signed an agreement with the North West Frontier Province government to enforce Shariat in Malakand division, which comprises Swat and its adjoining areas bordering Afghanistan.

Following the agreement, the insurgents announced a 10-day ceasefire Feb 15 in the insurgency-hit Swat Valley.

Besides hundreds of militants and government troops, more than 1,200 non-combatants are believed to have been killed in nearly 16 months of fighting in Swat, which used to be a popular tourist destination for its serene settings and trout streams.

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