Taliban leader Sufi Muhammad arrested in Pakistan

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Peshawar, July 26 (ANI): In a major development, Pakistani police on Sunday claimed to have arrested Sufi Muhammad, the chief of Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM), along with his two sons-Rizwanullah and Ziaullah for fomenting violence and terror.

According to Mian Iftikhar, the Information minister for the Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Muhammad was arrested for encouraging violence and terrorism.

"Instead of keeping his promises by taking steps for the sake of peace, and speaking out against terrorism, he did not utter a single word against terrorists,' Iftikhar was quoted by the Dawn as saying in news conference.

The minister also said that "the cleric's stance 'encouraged terrorism. It encouraged violence."

The military offensive in the Swat Valley and surrounding areas led some two million people to flee their homes and take refuge in camps and with relatives across the country.

Iftikhar accused Muhammad of again preparing to get more people killed' and said: "We cannot let it happen. The price we have paid for the sake of peace, we cannot allow any person to disturb the peace."

Muhammad would be investigated regarding his role as mediator between the government and the Taliban, and that a case would then be made based on that investigation, Iftikhar further stated.

Sufi, a radical Islamic cleric who brokered a peace deal with the Taliban in Pakistan and went missing during a military offensive, resurfaced in Peshawar city.

On Saturday, Sufi was seen for the first time since the military operation was launched April 26.

Sufi was caught on camera by a TV channel, which showed him at a TNSM meeting in Peshawar. He had "trimmed and dyed his beard red to keep his identity a secret, sources said.

Sufi Mohammad had been residing in a rented house in Peshawar's Sethi Town area. (ANI)

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