Son of Swat peace negotiator killed in Pak shelling
Kifayatullah, the son of a hardline cleric who negotiated the controversial Swat peace deal between Pakistani authorities and Taliban, has been killed in shelling in the Dir district of NWFP, where security forces are conducting operations against the militants.world Updated: May 07, 2009 13:54 IST
The son of Sufi Muhammad, a hardline cleric who negotiated the controversial peace deal between Pakistani authorities and Taliban, has been killed in shelling in the Dir district of NWFP, where security forces are conducting operations against the militants.
Kifayatullah, the son of Sufi Muhammad, was killed while another of his relatives was injured in the shelling at the cleric's hometown of Maidan in Dir.
Sufi Muhammad heads the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi (TNSM), which has been spearheading a campaign for enforcing Shariah or Islamic law in the northwestern Swat valley.
The cleric brokered a peace deal in Swat that has virtually fallen apart following fierce fighting between militants and security forces over the past few days.
TNSM spokesman Izzat Khan said Kifayatullah was killed in shelling by the security forces. There was no word from the government on the issue.
The security forces have been using artillery, gunship helicopters and fighter jets in operations against the Taliban in Buner, Dir and Swat districts of the North West Frontier Province.
Close to 300 militants and over 20 security personnel have been killed in the fighting.
Pakistan launched offensives in Lower Dir and the neighbouring Buner, after the Taliban militants advanced towards Islamabad.
NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain yesterday accused Sufi Muhammad of being a "stubborn and rigid" negotiator who had often stalled recent peace parleys by demanding that the operations against the Taliban should be halted and all arrested militants should be freed and tried only by Shariah courts.