Taliban accepts Pakistan's offer of 'permanent ceasefire' in Swat
Mingora (Pakistan), Feb. 21 (ANI): Taliban and Pakistani officials have agreed to a permanent ceasefire in the Swat Valley, a senior government official said on Saturday.
"They have made commitment that they will observe a permanent ceasefire and we'll do the same," said Syed Mohammad Javed, the Commissioner of Malakand.
Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah was expected to announce the ceasefire on the illegal FM radio owned by Taliabn. Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan told Reuters that Fazlullah would make an announcement on the radio shortly.
"I can't say what he would say but there would be good news for people of Swat," Khan said.
The ceasefire announcement comes a day after TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad met with Fazlullah in a bid to convince the Taliban to disarm under 'sharia-deal' between them and Pakistan Government.
According to the sharia deal' between Pakistan Government and the Taliban, the Taliban is required to end their bloody campaign after introduction of Islamic 'sharia courts' in the Malakand and Kohistan districts of Swat.
International community had criticized the deal saying the deal effectively cedes Swat to the Taliban and could embolden other militant groups challenging Pakistan's shaky secular government.
The US President's special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke hadcriticized the deal by saying that the US was troubled and confused about what happened in Swat because it was not an encouraging trend.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Britain too had severely criticized the accord, fearing the ceasefire may give Taliban militants time to train and come up stronger.
A similar deal in the Swat last year collapsed after a few months and was blamed for giving time to insurgents to regroup. (ANI)