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Pak releases 12 Taliban prisoners as goodwill gesture

Source: PTI
March 08, 2009 17:48 IST
Pakistani authorities have released 12 Taliban prisoners in the restive Swat valley as a goodwill gesture in the wake of a peace deal signed by the North West Frontier Province government and religious hardliners.
       
The release of the Taliban prisoners on Saturday coincided with talks between NWFP Information Minister Mian
Iftikhar Hussain and religious hardliners on implementing Shariah or Islamic law in Swat and Malakand areas.
       
The peace deal signed last month between the NWFP government and Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi, an outlawed hardline group headed by Maulana Sufi Mohammad, envisages the enforcement of Shariah in Swat and Malakand.
       
Information Minister Hussain told the TNSM leaders that the implementation of Shariah and appointment of Qazis
for
Islamic courts will be finalised after discussions with Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti.
       
Following the controversial pact, Sufi Mohammad began parleys with Taliban militants led by his son-in-law Maulana
Fazlullah. Several countries, including the US and India, have expressed concern over the peace deal.
       
Though the authorities and the Taliban announced separate ceasefires to facilitate the parleys, the truce has been violated several times by the Taliban. The militants killed two soldiers in an attack on Tuesday.
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