Swat deal within ambit of Pak constitution, says Gilani

Under attack from the international community, including US, on the Swat peace deal with Taliban-linked group, Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the pact was within the ambit of the country’s constitution and there was “nothing to worry about”.
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Updated on Feb 21, 2009 05:18 PM IST
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PTI | By, Islamabad

Under attack from the international community, including US, on the Swat peace deal with Taliban-linked group, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the pact was within the ambit of the country’s constitution and there was “nothing to worry about”.

He said that the peace deal enforcing Islamic laws in the restive Swat region would only become operational after restoration of complete normalcy in the area.

Gilani said the Nizam-e-Adl Ordinance would be signed by President Asif Ali Zardari only after the restoration of complete peace in the area.

“What we are doing is within the ambit of the constitution and there is nothing to worry about,” he said.

Gilani’s comments came as the US, NATO, India and Britain voiced concern over the pact with the Taliban-linked group, saying that it could be a ploy to enable the militant organisations to re-group.

Hardline cleric Sufi Mohammad of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi has been closetted with his son-in-law and Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah for the past two days to get the peace pact endorsed by the militant group, who have been waging a bloody campaign in the picturesque Swat valley for enforcing Sharia laws.

Islamic laws in eight districts of Malakand division, Gilani said similar rules were in place during British rule and similar steps had also been taken in 1995.

Responding to a question about the international concern on the Swat deal, he rejected the apprehensions and said the pact was within the ambit of the constitution and part of the government’s three-pronged policy of countering militancy through dialogue, development and deterrence.

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