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The Dubious Swat Deal With Taliban

 
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Dr. Shabbir
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: The Dubious Swat Deal With Taliban Reply with quote

Pakistan: Swat peace deal threatens human rights says Amnesty

Mingora/London, 17 Feb. (AKI) - Human rights, especially women's rights, would be further threatened once Islamic Sharia law is imposed troubled northwestern Swat district under a controversial peace accord signed this week, leading campaign group Amnesty International has said.

"The Pakistani government must ensure it protects the human rights of nearly two million people in the Swat valley and neighbouring Malakand district," Amnesty said.

Once one of Pakistan's most popular holiday destinations, the Swat valley is now mostly under Taliban control since an insurgency began there in 2007 following the siege of Islamabad's Red Mosque in which over 100 people died.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Swat and hundreds of girls' schools have been destroyed since the Taliban began a reign of terror including beheadings of officials and members of the Pakistani security forces sent to quell the insurgency.

The Taliban in Swat has also publicly whipped men for shaving their beards, destroyed music shops and forcibly prohibited women from leaving their homes, unless escorted by a male relative, Amnesty noted.

The controversial peace deal signed between Taliban insurgents in Swat and the government of surrounding North West Frontier Province could legitimise the human rights abuses that have been taking place in the region as the Taliban influence has increased, Amnesty warned.

β€œThe government is reneging on its duty to protect the human rights of people from Swat Valley by handing them over to Taliban insurgents,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty's Asia-Pacific director.

Amnesty also accused the Pakistani authorities of launching "indiscriminate and disproportionate" attacks against the Taliban that have mostly harmed civilians.

Females in Swat have been systematically targeted by the Taliban for "gender based" violence and discrimination, the group said.

Girls and women's rights to freedom of movement, work and education have been severely curtailed, it said.

"The Pakistani government cannot just abandon these people and sign away their rights,” said Zarifi.

NWFP chief minister, Ameer Hussain Hoti on Monday announced an accord had been signed that would implement a new "order of justice" in Malakand and Swat.

A new law will create a separate system of justice for the whole area, although the Taliban have reportedly already set up their own system of Islamic justice, as they understand it.

Between 250,000 – 500,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the Swat valley since 2007.

The Taliban campaign against female education has led to tens of thousands of children being denied an education, according to local observers.
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Dr. Shabbir
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Joined: 24 Dec 2006
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Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The efforts of NWFP provincial government are commendable for the restoration of peace and normalcy to Swat and Malakand division. The very recent peace agreement between provincial government and Maulana Sufi Muhammad of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) is a welcome development since, according to media reports, majority of the locals as well as analysts have supported the enforcement of 'Sharai Nizam-e-Adl Regulation' in Malakand division.



However, I would like to draw the attention of readers to some of the aspects, which relate to the implementation of this peace agreement and its consequences. My first sense is that militants have set a precedent by achieving this outcome through a long and barbarous armed struggle not through political and peaceful means. This precedent has a huge potential to be followed by people of other parts of the country especially those who have not been able to enjoy their constitutional and legal rights in this over-centralized federation and thus feel deprived and exploited.



The other aspect which comes to ones mind is the legality and constitutionality of this Regulation within the constitutional and legal framework of the country. The process may lead the country to another divided legal opinion, which may effect the successful implementation of the peace promise. Though these areas have a special arrangement under the provincial administered tribal areas (PATA).



The third aspect and, may be the most crucial one, is about the role and interests of those alleged elements, national and international, who want to destroy the peace prospects in these areas and destabilize Pakistan. If we believe in reports and claims about massive involvement of such elements in the Malakand and Swat blood bath, then they will never let their investment go waste under such peace deal and would therefore come up with new interventions to re-establish the writ of the bullet ruining the implementation prospects.



The enforcement of 'Sharai Nizam-e-Adl Regulation' may provide the local people rapid justice but to my knowledge among justice, socio-economic deprivation is also a critical subject, which somewhat equally matters to the people of these areas. Now it is unclear whether they will launch another such armed struggle to have a better bargain to get addressed their poor socio-economic conditions or our government will address it without that.


And finally, how our federal government especially President of Pakistan will respond to the complexity of situations. It is for sure that the peace deal has not been signed without the consent of President but it is correct too that the President is not acting independent of his habit of going back to his words when scene changes and of course the United State of America.


best regards

Faisal
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