The caliphate-within-a-state makes itself at home, with no challenge from Islamabad. It will be interesting — and telling — to see if the loss of 9 U.S. troops in an Afghan border province over the weekend elicits any additional pressure on Pakistan to control its territory and borders. “Taleban set up ‘Pakistan courts’,” by M. Ilyas Khan for BBC News, July 15:
Taleban militants in Pakistan’s north-western Mohmand tribal area have set up permanent Islamic courts, they say.
The districts have been divided into four judicial zones, each having two judges and a permanent court address.
The Taleban have up until now used mobile courts – with no permanent offices or judges – to settle criminal and financial disputes.
They say the permanent courts show the diminishing authority of the central and local governments.
The Taleban currently control large areas of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) along the border with Afghanistan.
‘Dozens of judgements’
“There will be eight judges, two for each zonal court, and there will be a top judge to whom appeals can be made,” Dr Asad, a spokesman for the Mohmand Taleban, told the BBC News website.
An official of the Mohmand tribal administration confirmed the report, saying the courts were already functioning a day after the Taleban’s announcement.
Meanwhile, the top spokesman for the Pakistani Taleban Movement (PTM), Maulvi Omar, has told the BBC Urdu service that permanent Taleban courts were already functioning in Bajaur district, Mohmand’s northern neighbour.
“About 20 local religious scholars issue dozens of judgements each day in Bajaur, where we have the most organised judicial system in place,” he said.
In addition the PTM also runs a vast network of mobile courts in the rest of the Fata areas, he said.
The cases range from land transactions and loan disputes to family matters.
All this is embarrassing for the Pakistani government, especially because the Taleban have in the past carried out cruel punishments against people accused of moral turpitude, crime or spying.
Not embarrassing enough, apparently, for them to do anything about it.