February 16, 2009

WHAT DOES PAKISTAN HAVE TO DO WITH HOW THE TRIBAL AREAS ARE GOVERNED?:

Peace talks could split Pakistani Taliban (Tom Hussain, February 17. 2009, The National)

Independent security analysts and western diplomats are closely watching how a ceasefire in Pakistan’s Swat Valley evolves for possible wider ramifications for the Pakistani Taliban movement.

Taliban militants in the insurgent northern valley declared a 10-day ceasefire late on Saturday in anticipation of peace talks with the government of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).

The talks, should they bear fruit, could lead to a split in the Pakistani Taliban movement.

The ceasefire was announced on Sunday by Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Swat faction of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). As a concession to the group and to quash a potential revolt, the government said yesterday it was allowing restoration of sharia to Pakistan’s north-west Malakand area, of which the Swat Valley is a part.

Islamic law was introduced as the basis of Swat’s judicial system in 1994, following protests, but abolished by the military regime of Pervez Musharraf after he assumed power in 1999.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2009 5:47 PM
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