Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Pakistan signs peace deal with Taliban militants

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    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Pakistan signs peace deal with Taliban militants

    Islamabad on a snowy winter dayImage via WikipediaPakistan signs peace deal with pro-Taliban militants

    4 hours ago

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — Pakistan's new government signed a peace deal with pro-Taliban militants in a northwestern valley Wednesday, despite calls from the United States to clamp down on Islamist rebels.

    The agreement will see the gradual withdrawal of troops from the devastated former tourist region of Swat and the imposition of Islamic Sharia law in line with the rebels' demands, provincial ministers said.

    In return the militants will close training camps, hand over foreign fighters and halt suicide attacks on government installations and security forces under the 15-point pact, they said.

    The United States reacted cautiously to the deal, saying it would monitor whether such attacks stopped.

    "We'll reserve judgement on these things," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters, adding that fighting militancy required the "right mix" of security, political and economic measures.

    The Pakistan army launched a major offensive in October to clear Swat of militants loyal to Maulana Fazlullah, a radical pro-Taliban cleric who led an uprising to enforce Sharia law in the valley.

    US, NATO and Afghan officials have criticised previous peace deals in Pakistan, saying that they have led to an increase in suicide attacks on international and Afghan forces across the border in Afghanistan.

    "The agreement was signed today between the government committee and representatives of local Taliban. We are very positive that this agreement will end violence and ensure lasting peace in the region," committee member and North West Frontier Province minister Wajid Ali Khan told AFP.

    Dozens of people have been killed in suicide bombings in Swat, which began in July last year after troops raided the hardline Red Mosque in the capital Islamabad, leaving scores dead.

    "We have agreed on a gradual withdrawal of the troops as the situation improves. The Taliban will close down all training centres for suicide bombers and militant activities. They will not attack security forces," Khan said.

    The militants had also agreed not to target girls' schools, music shops and barbers, all targets of the hardline militants who follow an interpretation of Islam echoing the 1996-2001 Taliban regime in Afghanistan, he said.

    "We have agreed to enforce the Sharia laws in the area," Khan added.

    Officials said there was no agreement on the fate of Fazlullah, for whom the militants were demanding a general amnesty. The army has been hunting for him in the region's forests and mountains for months.

    Afghanistan foreign ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen criticised the the Swat agreement.

    "We believe any exclusive deal with the Taliban would result in worsening of the situation," Baheen told AFP. "We believe any sort of agreement with the terrorists would harm both countries."

    US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte urged Pakistan on Tuesday to arrest a leading Taliban commander based in the tribal area of South Waziristan, with whom Islamabad is also negotiating.

    South Waziristan is around 350 kilometres (220 miles) south of Swat.

    The commander, Baitullah Mehsud, has been accused by the CIA and the previous Pakistani government of masterminding the assassination in December of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto.

    The new government, led by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, has pledged to completely overhaul Islamabad's counter-terrorism pursuit after defeating US-backed President Pervez Musharraf's political allies in February elections.

    Negroponte said he would be encouraged to see Pakistan "operating effectively against some of these militant extremists, like for example bringing Baitullah Mehsud... capturing him and bringing him to justice, which is what should happen to him."


    "In return the militants will close training camps, hand over foreign fighters and halt suicide attacks on government installations and security forces under the 15-point pact, they said."

    "Hand over foreign fighters" HOW NAIVE CAN THE PAKI GOV BE?

    Taliban plays Paki Gov for SUCKERS.
    I'm waiting to see how much $$$ the Paki gov pays them.
    Paki gov is ignoring its own history with the Taliban,
    Someone said the def of Insanity is doing the same thing over & over
    and expecting a different result.
    The Taliban have NO HONOR, THEY are using kids for suicide bombers.

    In the end this peace agreement will cost many Paki lives.



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