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'Islamic verdicts cannot be challenged'.

Islamabad: Swat Taliban's spiritual leader and elderly cleric Sufi Mohammad has made a surprise claim saying the verdict of the Islamic courts in Malakand division under the newly signed Adal Regulation cannot be challenged in superior courts of the country.

"Malakand division will be governed by the government of Pakistan under the constitution of the country, but the decision of Islamic courts will be final and not challengeable in any other court. Appeals will be heard in Malakand division, not anywhere else ," Sufi told the media.

The elderly cleric, who brokered the February peace deal with the provincial government recently ratified by Pakistani parliament and signed by President Zardari, said a mammoth public meeting will be held on April 19 in Swat district headquarters Mangora which aims at spreading peace across the valley and urge people to support establishment of government writ in the restive area.

He made it clear that the Qazi (judges) of the Islamic courts will not be under the jurisdiction of the government of Pakistan, and they will dispense justice according to Islamic Sharia law.

"We will set up Islamic courts in Buner, Shangla, Kohistan and Chitral after setting up Qazi courts in Malakand division," he vowed.

This sent alarm bells ringing across the government quarters and making his future intentions public as except Malakand area none of the mentioned areas are covered under the agreement signed with the government.

Sufi appealed to Swat Taliban not to display their arms in public and cooperate to implement the new law in the area.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Apr 17, 2009
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