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Pak Taliban commander summons dignitaries in "Sharia court"

world Updated: Jan 25, 2009 20:59 IST

Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazullah has directed over 50 dignitaries, including provincial and federal lawmakers, of the troubled Swat valley to appear in his "Sharia court" within a week.

Accusing the dignitaries of destroying the peace in Swat, Fazlullah warned that they would face "dangerous consequences" if they did not appear along with their family members in Taliban courts.

Among the dignitaries targeted by the Taliban are members of the North West Frontier Province Assembly and National Assembly, the local mayor, elders of Swat, provincial ministers and leaders of the Awami National Party, Pakistan People's Party, PPP-Sherpao, PML-Q and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.

"They (dignitaries) have destroyed peace in Swat and they should be tried in the Taliban's Shariah courts," Fazalullah said in a speech broadcast on his illegal FM radio station.

"If they do not appear in the courts, they will face dangerous consequences," he said.

Fazlullah, a radical cleric who heads Taliban fighters in the Swat valley located 160 km from Islamabad, directed the dignitaries to present themselves and their families in the courts within a week.

The Taliban commander read out the names of all the people who should appear in the Islamic courts, said local residents who heard the broadcast. Some of the persons summoned by Fazlullah have already left Swat due to security reasons.

Militant spokesman Muslim Khan told reporters in Swat that the list of dignitaries summoned to the Shariah courts was drawn up during a meeting of the Taliban's central council.