India warns of danger from resurgent Taliban

  • AFP, New Delhi New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 19, 2009 02:43 IST

India has warned of the "danger to humanity" posed by the Taliban, days after Pakistan struck a deal with Islamic militants allowing Taliban-style sharia law in a region bordering Afghanistan.

When asked to comment late Tuesday on Islamabad's pact with pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan's Swat region, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee insisted the Taliban was nothing short of a "terrorist organisation."

"Taliban believes in nothing but destruction and violence. In my assessment, Taliban is a danger to humanity and civilisation."

The controversial accord on Monday, widely seen as a Pakistani concession to militants, followed talks between ministers in the troubled North West Frontier Province and a local militant leader, Soofi Mohammad, on formalising the implementation of Islamic law.

The agreement will cover Pakistan's Malakand area, which includes the Swat valley and is home to around three million of the estimated 20 million people who live in the northwest province.

The Islamists, who have waged a nearly two-year campaign for sharia law in the region, have vowed to disarm once Islamic justice was established.

Pakistan however has denied making concessions to the militants, who have beheaded opponents, bombed schools and outlawed entertainment in Swat, formerly a ski resort popular with Westerners.

Washington, which puts Pakistan on the frontline of the "war on terror," has branded extremists in northwest Pakistan as a direct threat to Afghanistan, where US-led forces toppled a Taliban regime seven years ago, following the September 11 attacks of 2001.

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