Pakistan, battling resurgent Taliban insurgency, has established an Islamic appellate court in its restive NWFP as part of a peace deal reached earlier this year to shun violence, only to be rejected by the emboldened militants as "unilateral."
Dar-ul-Qaza, an Islamic appellate court, was set up for the Malakand division of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). "The North West Frontier Province government announces the setting up of Darul Qaza, or an Islamic appellate court, in Malakand division," provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told reporters on Saturday night.
Hussain said two judges had been appointed to serve on the court, adding, "The government has now fulfilled its promise." "Dar-ul-Qaza was the main demand and it has been met. Now there is no justification to take up arms," Hussain said.
"But if they take up arms even after this announcement, keep on challenging the government and try to run a parallel government, then the government will stop them at all costs," the minister warned.
NWFP authorities in February agreed to allow religious hardliners to enforce Islamic law in the Swat valley, a part of Malakand that was once a tourist hotspot, and other districts in the hope that militants would shun violence.