Sufi Mohammed: putting the “piety” back in “Pakistan”
Yet Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari maintains that “Pakistan has not and will not negotiate with extremist Taleban and terrorists.” This is but the beginning, Asif. “Swat ‘dancing girls’ must leave,” from the BBC, March 4:
An agreement has been made in Pakistan’s troubled Swat valley to remove dancing girls from the main town of Mingora, a top official has said.
Malakand Commissioner Mohammed Javed told the BBC that an agreement had also been made for shops and businesses in Swat to close during prayer times.
Militants and officials recently agreed a truce as they try to implement a peace deal that will bring Sharia law.
However, more violence on Tuesday has put the truce under increased strain.
Suspected militants shot and killed two soldiers and kidnapped an official.
Mr Javed told the BBC that the agreement to remove the dancing girls and close businesses during prayers was agreed between him and Sufi Mohammad, the cleric who is brokering the peace deal between the government and militants in Swat.
The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Pakistan says that critics of the deal see it as part of the growing Talebanisation of Swat and proof that the militants are increasingly exerting their influence despite President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent assertions that Pakistan has not and will not negotiate with “extremist Taleban and terrorists”.
Our correspondent says that the decision to make the dancing girls leave Mingora effectively means they have been sent into internal exile and that Swat is now embracing an Islamic legal system that also pronounces on social and political questions.
The Taleban have destroyed nearly 200 schools, most of them for girls, during a sustained campaign against secular education in Swat…