Swat Taliban reject Islamic courts, refuse to disarm

The Swat Taliban have rejected the provincial government’s overture to establish Islamic courts in the Malakand Division and said their followers would never surrender their weapons, as the security situation in Swat rapidly deteriorates.

Taliban spokesmen claimed that the government had failed to consult the Taliban on the establishment of the Darul Qaza, or the senior Islamic appellate court, for the Malakand Division and had backtracked on an agreement established during negotiations just days ago.

The government had agreed to end the military operations in the neighboring districts of Dir and Buner and to consult with Sufi Mohammad, the leader of the banned pro-Taliban Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed [TNSM or the Movement for the Enforcement of Mohammed’s Law] and father-in-law of Swat Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah.

Sufi previously had demanded that he was to select the Qazis, or judges for the Islamic appellate courts. The government had negotiated the Malakand Accord with Sufi and the agreement went into effect on February 16. The peace agreement called for the end of military operations in Swat and the imposition of sharia, or Islamic law, in the districts of Malakand, Swat, Shangla, Buner, Dir, Chitral, and Kohistan, a region that encompasses nearly one-third of the Northwest Frontier Province.

Swat Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan also rejected the establishment of the Darul Qaza, claiming it was imposed “under the shadows of jets bombing and shelling,” according to Dawn. Khan said the government failed to consult with Sufi and claimed the government violated the Malakand Accord by launching the military operations in Dir and Buner. “He warned of befitting response if military operation was again imposed on them in Swat,” Dawn reported.

Khan also demanded sweeping powers for the Malakand-based Islamic courts. “He said Darul Qaza should be so powerful that it could summon the president, prime minister, Maulana Sufi Mohammad and even Maulana Fazlullah to appear before it,” Dawn reported.

The Swat Taliban has refused to disarm, one of the key points in the Malakand Accord. “Taliban cannot renounce weapons, they are ornaments of Muslims,” Khan told a Pakistani television station.

Taliban continue attacks in Swat; military silent

As the military continues operations in Dir and Buner and appears to be positioning for an operation in Shangla, the Taliban continue to run roughshod over the government and security forces in Swat. Immediately after the signing of the Malakand Accord, the Swat Taliban violated the agreement by kidnapping and killing security and government officials, conducting armed patrols, setting up illegal checkpoints, and halting military convoys.

In the past two weeks, the Taliban have kidnapped 15 security officials and murdered two others. The Taliban captured four policemen in Swat on April 30, five policemen on April 28, and six Frontier Constabulary personnel on April 20.

Today, the Taliban kidnapped and murdered two government officials and beheaded them. Khan claimed the murders were revenge for the deaths of two low-level Taliban commanders in Swat the prior day.

The situation in Swat has grown worse as the Taliban are now actively patrolling in Mingora, the main town in the district. Taliban fighters raided the Mingora Grid Station, which caught on fire after a gunfight with security forces there. The power grid was shut down and several regions in Swat went dark. The Taliban also bombed a boys’ school.

The military and government have ignored the repeated Taliban violations of the peace agreement and instead have searched for ways to keep the agreement intact.

The Taliban, emboldened by the government’s willingness to accede to their demands, moved hundreds of fighters into neighboring Buner and have pushed forces into Mansehra and Haripur, two districts on the outskirts of Islamabad. While the military and government have downplayed the threat to the capital, the local Islamabad administration moved paramilitary troops into the hills north of the city to protect against a Taliban advance.

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



  • Robert says:

    It keeps getting better. Its like a soap opera.

  • Jerjes Talpur says:

    Muslim khan denied to disarm, but in his more speech he also said i would obey Sufi Mohammad the leader of Nifa-e-shariyaat 🙂
    Muslim khan has no role he just want to get famous, and you people are fulfilling his dreams, he might be very powerful character in front of you.
    But useless good for nothing for us.
    Sufi Mohammad is key and responsible person.
    We neglected muslim khans comment as taking it useless thing but you have made a huge article.

  • NS says:

    Muslim khan has no role he just want to get famous, and you people are fulfilling his dreams, he might be very powerful character in front of you.
    An attitude like this is the exact reason the Taliban is parked within 60 miles of the capital of Pakistan.
    There is denial. More Denial. and even more denial to look at the facts on the ground.
    It is always the fault of others (Please insert your favorite villain here – CIA/RAW/Mossad/The Flying Spaghetti Monster) or it is the misunderstanding of the world which does not know whom Pakistanis really “respect”. The country is such a mystery !
    I have been regularly hearing Muslim Khan’s name come up – heck, his statements were carried on ABC news last week. And we are supposed to ignore this guy.?
    Some one in an earlier thread pointed out that if push comes to shove the military would gladly settle for a Pakistan with jihadis in power as opposed to no Pakistan at all. It does seem like their plans are working out rather well.
    One thing that does seem clear, though. Pakistan’s perfidy and charades are now so transparent, the status quo cannot continue for long.
    When General Petraeus himself warns that Pakistan has only two weeks left to reverse course, it sounds very ominous.
    God knows what is in store.

  • sanman says:

    It’s time the world stop swallowing Pakistani denials one after another, because it’s only increasing our heartburn later on. The world has to develop some strong levers against Pakistan, which can be used to push it where it needs to go.

  • Some VB says:

    The ‘key and responsible’ person has spoken –
    “Sharia and democracy are incompatible … we consider democracy as Kuffar (infidelity): Sufi ”
    The chief broker doesn’t believe in Pakistan’s constitution. Does he think the democratic representatives are kuffars as well?
    Go figure!

  • Spooky says:

    Secure the nukes before the government collapses, regardless of their protests. Break up the country, with Kashmir going to India and NWFP going to Afghanistan and a successor state established in Sindh-Balochistan. Depower Punjab at all costs, because this is madness.
    But of course no one has the will or treasure to do this so a simpler solution. Defang Pakistan and keep it under isolation from all sides, and let the Indians take Kashmir and le Afghanistan have NWFP so that NATO can go in there and clean house properly.
    I realize that solution is also untennable at the moment. Regardless, Pakistan’s military has to be dissolved in some fashion. It may be the only thing keeping the federation up and it may be the only thing between the Taliban and the nukes, but they are also perpetuating this conflict ad infinitum.

  • Robert says:

    I think it would be such a simple solution of Kashmir goes to India and NWFP goes to Afg. But does US have balls to carry this out?
    I have been reading “Descent into Chaos” and US administration has been fooled hundreds of times by ISI. They are made to look like jokers.
    I think US does not have strong leadership. They don’t need to do anything, just stop pumping money into the country and it will collapse by itself courtesy Taliban.
    But the US leadership is so under fear even this is not possible.

  • Spooky says:

    Its a catch 22 with regards to keeping the finances going. The Taliban are largely successful due to the poverty strikcen masses being desperate enough to turn. Without financial aid, whatever does work (the Army) would collapse at once and anarchy would reign as in Afghanistan. Taliban wins by default and things get dicey.
    The federation is doomed regardless of what happens, but better it is broken up in an orderly fashion than a total collapse like Somalia.

  • Robert says:

    It is a well known fact that pak is Punjab centered. Balochs have been fighting for independence for decades. Their gas is worth $1.6bn yearly while they get only $110 million.
    NWFP and Punjab are already threat to the region and also to the world.And they are consuming resources from Sindh and Balochistan to further their extremist agenda.
    If the money flow (aid) is stopped then it would be easier to separate at least Balochistan(the energy source) and probably Sindh. This leaves the land locked Punjab and NWFP with not much power.
    By doing this the world community does a favor to itself by reducing the size of threat limited to Punjab and NWFP. At this point there will be permanent solution to Kashmir issue. However this idea seems to be far-fetched due to US incompetence and lack of will.
    Actually Iran has interests in Balochistan as well since the recent Pashtun gains there are unnerving Iran as well.

  • Minnor says:

    It takes time to establish a new judicial system. And it is very much logical for taliban to refuse to disarm until govt part is implemented completely, as they don’t want to give away any bargain. But after the system is up and running taliban will have to disarm, as Robin Hoods are not allowed any more.
    @Robert, we can set aside Pak dividing, at least for now, when China is backing them as hell. China needs Pak to keep India at bay.

  • @MINNOR:
    The China bogey will not last for long. With Uighur Muslims getting active support from Taliban and ISI, the Chinese have clamped down on this adventure with an iron hand. They had even invited Jamaat Islami to tell them “not to meddle” in China.
    If US plays ball with Iran and uses the Chah-bahar port – which they are negotiating and probably a break-thru made in back channels already – the US is putting Iran into the sweets for the Nabucco line.
    China will play ball with US, as it does not want its T-bills to loose sheen. And Gwadar will be gone out of Chinese hands one way or another.
    Pak military’s proclivity with China is well known and the world security is not about to be sacrificed because the Pak Army menu has only two items on the menu : 1) Taliban/LeT and other terror organizations and 2) China.

  • Robert says:

    Have you not been following news recently. China has offered support to Sri Lanka recently and today Nepal’s Prachanda sacked an Indian educated Military chief.
    Chian probably knows that Pak is a lost cause and is trying to find new ways to counter India. They have also been using Myanmar recently.
    As pointed by Bengal, Chines have major threat in Xinjiang from Uighurs who trained along with al Queda near Tora Bora.
    I hope the Pakistanis get used to the idea that slowly but steadily everyone is abandoning them.
    This includes Saudi Arabia, a dream land(or heaven) for many Pakis, has recently rejected Paks request for aid. They have not even agreed to lend oil.
    There is a saying that says “when you lose your power there are no more friends”. This is especially true from economical, military and political aspects of international relationships.

  • bard207 says:


    we can set aside Pak dividing, at least for now, when
    China is backing them as hell. China needs Pak to keep India at bay.
    I think of China as being pragmatic and partial to analyzing risks.
    Didn’t Zardari get much less aid from China than he had hoped for even after his numerous visits there?
    Won’t military analysts in China do a rethink on the theory that Pakistan can keep India at bay when the Pakistani Army struggles to keep militants 100 km away from Islamabad?
    If China had internal events being allowed to run free & loose like they are in Pakistan, how long would the head of the PLA and some others in Leadership positions be allowed to keep their jobs?

  • Minnor says:

    I nowhere else but here see any possibility of division of Pak whatsoever. But they say “mortal threat” and “toppling of civilian govt”, i’m not sure what it would mean other than military coup. Also division of military is unlikely, the side with airforce command will win in such case, likely bloodlessly.

  • bard207 says:

    Earlier in this discussion, you mentioned Chinese support for Pakistan and several people addressed it.
    We are still waiting for your response.

  • Spooky says:

    Many Pakistanis already believe that if something isn’t done soon, Balochistan will be lost forever to them. That’s half their country right there. All I’m saying is is that it would be better to do an ordered break up more akin to the Soviet Union than a more messy one like Yugoslavia.

  • Robert says:

    However there is an issue with Balochistan here. After 9/11 many Pashtuns crossed the border and settled in Balochistan. This includes some some Pakistani Pasthins.
    These Pashtuns have changed the demographics of the region significantly and together with the Army are crushing the movement.
    Balochs may need more help now than they used to.

  • Jerjes Talpur says:

    Very strange and sad to say, you are showing militants as, National Hero, and most of you are against the existence of Pakistan, but telling you, your wishes will not become dishes for you.
    You are focusing what Muslim khan is saying but for your kind information just have a look at the operation of Pakistan army.
    They have cleared Dir and deployed their forces, they have cleared bajaur and deployed their forces, and they are going to clear swat and deploy their forces.
    Then we will see who has dare to cross border, we have not only advance military system we have advance weaponry system, and we know how to use them.

  • Robert says:

    Politics is based on pragmatism subject to accords and agreements. Idealism does not work there.
    The results of Dir action: I will see what Bill says and wait before concluding either way. Because they may have really flushed the Taliban out but the later can come back in a matter of days.
    Dividing Pak is a long shot but its worthwhile. Especially since the central Asian countries also have imported Pak’s extremism. Uzbekistan is an example.
    Again read “Descent into Chaos” and “Taliban” from your fellow citizen Ahmed Rashid.
    You have advanced weaponry system: Chinese nukes and North Korean missiles. I know that. You even know hot to use them. Apparently you are unable to use them to sort of your own house.
    If the military breaks up, then it is much easier to cross border, for all neighboring countries.
    Again read “Descent into Chaos” and you will realize it is a nation of villains, Heros are hard to find.

  • Robert says:

    Apparently you are unable to use them to sort of your own house.
    In the previous post this sentence is supposed to mean using “advanced weapons” not necessarily nukes and missiles.

  • Minnor says:

    Soviet or Yugo will happen only if parent country willing to give away. Otherwise Baloch will be met with fate of LTTE. Again, i read nowhere else about division of Pak.
    Pak hardly care civil unrest in baloch or nwfp, since it gives a damn to people there. It does not mind amputated hands there due to sharia, and recently mutiliated bodies in baloch.
    As for china, it wont mind giving away what pak craves. Just it needs true friends in the region.

  • Robert says:

    True friends do not exist in politics. Its like Santa.

  • Robert says:

    I do not think your political philosophy is shared by your Army or your government. Its kind of anti-thesis to their.
    Look at the history taught in public schools(not madrassas) in Pakistan; Qasim is the first citizen, Jinnah was a practicing Muslim, India was a part of Pak and excessive religion in social studies, lies about 1965 war, 1971 war and 1971 genocide(recent US govt made public conversations between its own officials, who claims it to be a selective genocide and we know who were selected).
    I pity the liberals(or less hard core) in Pakistan, torn between love for country and hatred for fundamentalism.

  • bard207 says:

    Here you go…
    Civil war threatens Pakistan: report
    Video of violence in Karachi
    Baloch Warna
    Call to address Balochistan issue on priority basis
    Freedoms and national interest

    Thursday’s issue of this paper carried stories of
    violence in Karachi, battles in Buner, drone strikes in Waziristan and the sad information that our national anthem is no longer being sung in the schools of Balochistan. Inside pages also carry disturbing reports about an attack on a military convoy in Nowshera and firing on its police lines.
    If I was to show the above links to somebody not familiar with Pakistan and ask them if it looked like a Civil War, they would likely think so.
    If Bangla had been chosen as the National language for all of Pakistan many decades ago, Bangladesh might still be part of Pakistan. So there is a precedent for Pakistan losing land when it is not flexible about taking care of the needs of all of its citizens.

  • Midnight says:

    Some Muslims do see Democracy as Kufr. It is if it takes the place of Shariah law. I don’t believe that most see it as Kufr if it is only used as a tool to give peace to diversity. The word infidel can be used loosely, too loosely, it can refer to another Muslim who isn’t from the same village or belief. Rape has been committed over this very challenge.
    Not to condemn, simply to say that God himself left the instructions for Muslims to recite.
    There are also 2 Sunnah, Hadith another challenge that brings up this topic, in which we all know what the re: is.
    Democracy is a tool, it is what the Muslim makes it,
    capitalism is another story in itself. Democracy allows in other countries for repubics, states of being within one law and country. Comprende’ States that govern themselves perhaps even by village.

  • Robert says:

    I hope the editor sees this as a response to midnights comment.
    Democracy and religion are mutually exclusive. Religious are not open minded in the following sense: Say some research proves that Mohammad was just an ordinary man, do you think people will immediately start leaving Islam. First the researcher will be killed(or goes underground, we have a long list) and the research will be expunged.
    Religion is based on Divine law, democracy is based on Man’s(woman’s) law. They are mutually exclusive. Fortunately in US there are many religious people with multiple personality disorder who somehow reconcile the differences between the Divine law and the secular law.
    The same can not be said about majority of Muslims, at least they are not trying. No wonder Islamic countries have terrible record on human rights. A simple sentences can hand you death sentence. This is precisely why Sufi Mohammad makes sense more than liberal Muslims. Significant population of the Muslim world is either under theocracy or dictatorship.

  • rational enquirer says:

    One does not need to have a multiple personality disorder in order to reconcile divine law with secular law. Democracy allows for religious freedom — the freedom to worship in any way so long as it does not threaten other people.

  • Robert says:

    I am not talking about religious freedom. Democracy does not guarantee religious freedom. Iran is an example.
    From theological point why would one need a man-made law when the all powerful and benevolent god has made such awesome laws and communicated through prophets.
    God is certainly powerful and hence intelligent enough to make laws that transcend space and time.

  • rational enquirer says:

    Robert — obviously, I was talking about functioning, Western-style democracy, in which basic individual rights and freedoms are guaranteed and elections are relatively free from corruption.
    Also, although this is not the place for a theological discussion, it is clear that a transcendent God has no need for the forcible imposition of religious belief.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    This isn’t the place for theological debates, you’ve been warned about this in the past Robert.


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