Swat peace agreement collapses


Sufi Mohammad.

The Swat Taliban have withdrawn from the two-month-old peace agreement, citing the central government’s unwillingness to sign the legislation that will impose sharia courts in the Malakand Division.

The peace agreement, known as the Malakand Accord, put an end to military operations in Swat and the surrounding regions and established sharia, or Islamic courts. The Malakand Accord was imposed in Malakand, Swat, Shangla, Buner, Dir, Chitral, and Kohistan, a region that encompasses more than one-third of the Northwest Frontier Province.

Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the radical pro-Taliban Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed [TNSM or the Movement for the Enforcement of Mohammed’s Law], recently called off the peace agreement and ended all peace camps in the region. Sufi blamed President Asif Ali Zardari for failing to sign into federal law the legislation to establish sharia courts and blamed Zardari for any repercussions.

“From now on, President Zardari will be responsible for any situation in Swat,” Sufi said, according to Dawn. “The provincial government is sincere and our agreement with the provincial government is intact, but we are ending our peace camp.”

Sufi claimed to have eschewed violence after being released from prison in November 2007 as a condition of a similar failed peace agreement in Swat. Sufi led more than 10,000 Pakistanis into Afghanistan after the US invasion in 2001. Mullah Fazlullah, the radical anti-government cleric behind the insurgency and terror attacks in Swat, is his son-in-law.

The Swat Taliban and Sufi’s TNSM maintained very close links to the radical administration of the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, the pro-Taliban mosque in the heart of Islamabad whose followers enforced sharia and kidnapped policemen just one mile from the seat of government. The Pakistani military stormed the Lal Masjid in July 2007 after a several-month standoff. More than a hundred followers and more than a dozen soldiers were killed in the battle.

In recent interviews, Sufi has declared his hatred for democracy and the West, and described Mullah Omar’s regime in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 as “ideal.”

Sufi is the father-in-law of Mullah Fazlullah, the Swat Taliban leader who is responsible for nearly two years of bloody violence in Swat that killed hundreds police and paramilitary troops and caused the exodus of more than 500,000 of Swat’s estimated 1.5 million residents. During the fighting between the Swat Taliban and government forces, the Swat Taliban targeted police officers, tribal leaders, and politicians. Family members of government officials and tribal leaders were killed, and their homes were torched. Suicide attacks and beheadings were commonplace in Swat during the fighting.

The military ceased operations in Swat in February 2009 after it failed to dislodge the Taliban. Sufi brokered a peace agreement between the government and the Taliban. Under the agreement, the government has committed to implement sharia, end the military campaign, and release Taliban prisoners, while the Taliban agreed to end attacks. But the Taliban has violated the agreement several times: the Taliban kidnapped the district coordinating officer and his bodyguards, murdered two soldiers, and captured a Frontier Corps officer and several of his men. In addition, the Taliban never gave up its weapons and continues to conduct armed patrols and manage checkpoints in some regions of Swat. Yet the government has failed to respond to these violations of the accord and instead has released more than 50 Taliban leaders and fighters from custody.

The collapse of the Swat accord takes place as the Swat Taliban are working to take the neighboring district of Buner by force. More than 100 Taliban fighters entered Buner on April 5. Just two days later, the Taliban clashed with local militias and police who are attempting to halt the Taliban advance. Five police and tribal fighters and 16 Taliban were reported killed in the clash, but the Taliban have continued to move through Buner.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal.



  • Neo says:

    President Zardari
    We regret to inform you that we can no longer maintain the façade that is this peace agreement however useful it has been for us. Our battle plan is fully prepared for the next phase and God would not be happy if we delayed for another moment. It’s not like this was unexpected. After all, the current agreement only extracted a partial capitulation on your part. After having achieved that what use is the agreement to us anyway? I’m sure you understand.
    At this time, we think it would be prudent if government troops would be moved to the Indian frontier where they are most urgently needed. That way we don’t have to go through another round of this peace agreement fuss to get them out of our way.
    Thank you for your cooperation. We will be sure to let you know if we have any further demands to extract from you.
    Sufi The-flogger Mohammed
    P.S. Let the wife know that short collars are currently in style for westernized politicians.

  • Neo says:

    President Zardari
    My apologies about the comment about the wife. It’s most absent minded of me to forget that issue has already been tended to. Too many bombings to ask one man to remember.
    Sufi The-flogger Mohammed

  • Sam says:

    The stalling-for-time-while-we-prepare-the-next-stage-of-our-conquest Accord has ‘collapsed’?!
    I am totally shocked by this unexpected turn of events!

  • Minnor says:

    One good news from Pak, though not yet finalised. Hope President won’t sign the deal, as everyone expected. Or deal may be revised so that Sharia should be limited only to Swat and not to neighboring districts.

  • My2cents says:

    Well, that did not take long …

  • Bill Roggio says:

    I must admit my shockmetre was pegged to zero. What will be interesting to see is if the military has the will to attempt to reassert the government’s writ in Swat.

  • NS says:

    Nice touch 🙂

  • bard207 says:

    I would be surprised if the Army expressed any interest in reclaiming Swat.
    Morale is higher and KIA losses are much lower staring at the Indian Army than facing the the various Pakistani militant factions.

  • jayc says:

    Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani informed a recent meeting with several Pak newspaper editors that his strategy of dealing with the militants consisted of “dialogue, deterrence and development.” Good luck with that.
    Might I suggest an alternative strategy that is working only too well? Run, Retreat and Release.

  • Rhyno327 says:

    Well, they gave the PAKI’s thier word…LOL!!! Ho hom, biz as usual.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/10/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • Neo says:

    I initially botched it a bit with the P.S.
    Duh! How could I forget?

  • Neo says:

    You forgot to add “Relocate”

  • Talib says:

    I don’t think Neo is very humorous. The “flogger” comment is out of line. Do you think if you lived in Swat,do you think you would find the situation humorous?

  • bard207 says:


    I don’t think Neo is very humorous. The “flogger”
    comment is out of line. Do you think if you lived in Swat,do you think you would find the situation humorous?
    I haven’t seen anything yet in the Pakistan media from President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, General Kiyani, Nawaz Sharif or Imran Khan in regards to having great angst for the situation the people of Swat are in.
    If I was a supporter of Pakistan, it would be very troubling to me that the leadership of the country didn’t care and lacked empathy for the people of Swat.
    If General Kiyani cared, wouldn’t he move regular Army troops from the Eastern Border back to the NWFP – Swat area and eject the militants?

  • NS says:

    You ask the tough questions ! If i remember it right, in one of the previous threads you challenged some body who is Pakistani about his views.. and he didnt get back with a response either…
    The Swat Valley it seems, used to be a tourist destination with scenic locales – sadly, this may never be the case in the future.

  • Midnight says:

    The situation has not yet been resolved. I believe that it will be. I recently relocated I’m still getting settled. I think there will be a peace deal but there is a lack of trust there. For everyone, it’s all been moved really, the people are of course concerned but they are very good a Sharia Law. The most gentle thing that could be done is to let them have Sharia and get it up and going. The Pakistani people are very into their faith. Afghanistan will be better off and more stable for it. Perhaps then real infrastucture can begin to save them. New courts are hard too. I had to go today to our new one, proceedure varies in every court, I found this one to be very well ran, I was very pleased with the fair outcome. These aare the things that do not need to be destablizing the country there is no reason after a peace agreement.

  • bard207 says:

    Yes, I will ask the tough questions that supporters of Pakistan don’t like.
    On web sites that supporters of Pakistan are the majority contributors – participants, those who ask tough questions are shouted down by the majority and often removed by Moderators. Thus, the majority doesn’t have to really examine their belief systems and answer tough questions.
    They try their hand at other web sites and struggle because they haven’t had to deal with tough questions before.
    They are letting more than the Swat Valley slip away from them.
    The passivity displayed by the Pakistani leadership and Army is disappointing. Their country and present way of life are at risk and they are far too willing to accept that possible change.
    If the thoughts – beliefs are that things will be better under the Taliban, TTP, TNSM, LeT etc… then that is a mistake. Outside aid from the Western World will be severely curtailed. Even China is concerned about the slippage in Pakistan and will be reluctant to aid a country that is harboring militants that are hostile to them.

  • Talib says:

    [I]some body who is Pakistani about his views..[/I]
    Thats a new one…
    And bard, you bring up important points, I just thought making jokes about this situation is out of line.


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