Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Faris Ali, "Pakistan signs peace pact with militants in Swat," Reuters, May 21, 2008.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan's government promised to "gradually" pull out troops from the northwestern valley of Swat after signing a peace agreement with Taliban militants on Wednesday.

The deal was done a day after the United States advised its ally against negotiating with militants, saying it could give them breathing space to plot attacks in Pakistan and abroad.

Authorities in North West Frontier Province also agreed to enforce sharia, Islamic law, in Swat in return for assurances that militants led by charismatic cleric Fazlullah will cease attacks, allow girls to go to school and stop carrying weapons in public.

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