Militants enjoy immunity from law: TNSM
ISLAMABAD, April 14: The chief of Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi came up with an audacious interpretation of the Nizam-i-Adl regulation on Tuesday, asserting that the law would protect militants accused of brutal killings from prosecution.
The assertion highlights the dilemma facing the government as it seeks to halt 18 months of bloodletting in the Swat Valley while convincing the nation, and the West, that it is not capitulating to militants.
Asked on Tuesday in a television interview whether the new courts would hear complaints from Swat residents about Maulana Fazlullah or his followers, Sufi Mohammad said they could not. “'We intend to bury the past,”’ the TNSM chief told the ARY channel, sitting off-screen. “’Past things will be left behind and we will go for a new life in peace.”
Asked if the Taliban would enjoy such immunity, an NWFP minister only pleaded for calm so that peace could take hold. “Everyone should understand what we have gone through and what kind of hardship people in Swat have suffered,” Wajid Ali Khan said. “’We can look into any disputes and controversy at some later stage.”
A spokesman for the Taliban said the militants would cooperate if the law was quickly implemented. “The world will see how much peace and prosperity comes to this region,” Muslim Khan said. Sufi Mohammad said his followers would tour all districts of Malakand, including Buner, to “ensure peace”.
He also said the courts would interpret civil rights according to Islamic strictures. “Women will have full protection and rights under Sharia. They will live a better life _ but behind the veil,” he said. —Agencies Our Correspondent in Mingora adds: The Swat Taliban have ‘banned’ display of weapons in bazaars, urban areas and even their Imamdheri centre, saying there is no need of taking up arms if ‘Shariat’ is enforced in letter and spirit.
The decision was taken on an appeal of Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan told journalists. He said the Taliban had achieved their goal and they were ready to cooperate for quick implementation of the Nizam-i-Adl regulation.
The spokesman praised President Asif Ali Zardari and members of the National Assembly for their quick decision about the regulation. He expressed the hope that the law would soon be implemented in letter and spirit.
Our Correspondent in Batkhela adds : Talking to Dawn at the TNSM headquarters in Amandara, Sufi Mohammad said there was no justification of Taliban activities in Malakand region after the ‘enforcement of Shariat’. He said the Taliban should stop their activities and all decisions would now be taken by qazi courts.
Daily Dawn ---- 15th April, 09