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Terrorist Leads Victory Parade In Swat

From those tireless defenders of the faith at Reuters:

Cleric leads "peace march" through Pakistan’s Swat

By Kamran Haider Kamran Haider – Wed Feb 18,

MINGORA, Pakistan (Reuters) – A radical cleric at the vanguard of a struggle for Islamic law in Pakistan’s restive Swat valley led a "peace march" on Wednesday to ask the Taliban to stop fighting, two days after he struck a deal with the government.

Maulana Sufi Mohammad was freed last year after spending six years in prison for leading thousands of fighters to Afghanistan in a vain bid to help the Taliban repel U.S.-backed forces.

"I ask you to remain peaceful. We have reached an agreement with the provincial government and Nizam-e-Adl (Islamic system of justice) will soon be enforced here," Mohammad told several thousand followers gathered in Mingora, the main town in Swat.

"People will soon start getting justice and there will be a durable peace," he said as an army vehicle with a mounted machine gun patrolled the town’s central bazaar.

Mohammad led an armed uprising in 1994 for the restoration of sharia, Islamic law, in Swat, and again challenged authorities in 1999 with protests over the government’s failure to honor agreements, but he forsook militancy after his release last year.

Bespectacled with a snow white beard and henna-tinted hair poking from beneath his black turban, Mohammad strode through the town followed by supporters, many waving black and white flags.

The marchers, most also wearing black turbans, later drove to meet Taliban leaders at their stronghold in the village of Matta, some 18 km (11 miles) away.

"Maulana Sufi Mohammad’s presence here is a blessing for the people of Swat as we can now hope for peace in the valley," said Zahoor Ahmed, a farmer who had come to town to join the rally…

We suspect that this was more of a “victory lap” than a “peace march.”

But at last we get some idea what Reuters means by its euphemisms like “radical cleric”:

Maulana Sufi Mohammad was freed last year after spending six years in prison for leading thousands of fighters to Afghanistan in a vain bid to help the Taliban repel U.S.-backed forces.

Mind you, the man is not a terrorist.

Never mind that he helped found and lead the group Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (The Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law) which, among its other holy works, blew up the ancient Buddhist sculptures in Swat.

From Wikipedia:

On October 8, 2007 members of the TNSM group used dynamite to obliterate the face of the 23 foot high colossal image of a seated Buddha carved in c. 7th century CE into a reddish rock face on a hillside to the southwest of the village of Jehanabad (Shakhorai) near Manglawar in Swat district. According to Aqleem Khan, an archaeology department official of North Western Frontier Province who spoke to Reuters, the members of this group drilled holes into the rock, filled them with dynamite, then set off the explosion on October 9, 2007 morning….

They also have bombed girls schools and CD stores. Again from Wikipedia:

A January 21, 2009 issue of the Pakistan daily newspaper The News, reported Taliban enforcement of a complete ban on female education in the Swat district. Some 400 private schools enrolling 40,000 girls were forced to close. At least 10 girls schools that tried to open after the January 15, 2009 deadline by the Fazlullah-led Taliban were destroyed by the militants in the town of Mingora, the headquarters of the Swat district. Over the past 14 months "more than 170 schools have been bombed or torched, along with other government-owned buildings."

But Reuters dare not call him a terrorist. Nor tell its unfortunate readers what his “victory” means.

After all, they are not in the business of informing people.

They have another mission altogether.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Terrorist Leads Victory Parade In Swat”

  1. proreason says:

    SG: “Mind you, the man is not a terrorist.”

    ok, ok. He’s a “so-called” terrorist.

  2. Al-Reuters

    Fixed that for ya….


  3. beautyofreason says:

    I wonder when the Taliban will get control of Pakistani nukes and the other regions.

    It’s just a matter of time. One capitulation leads to another.

  4. Steve says:

    A troubling bit of news, if true, from the UK’s Telegraph:

    US privately backs Pakistan’s ‘Sharia law for peace’ deal with Taliban

    American officials have privately backed Pakistan’s “Sharia law for peace” deal with Taliban militants in the Swat Valley despite publicly criticising it as a “negative development”.

    By Dean Nelson, Javed Siddiq in Islamabad and Emal Khan in Peshawar
    17 Feb 2009

    The deal, under which Sharia law will be introduced in the Malakhand and Kohistan districts of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province if Taliban militants end their armed campaign in the Swat Valley, has been met with alarm by Nato chiefs and British and American officials.

    Nato fears the deal would create a new “safe haven” for extremists, said a spokesman on Tuesday night, while a statement from Britain’s High Commission in Islamabad said: “Previous peace deals have not provided a comprehensive and long-term solution to Swat’s problems. We need to be confident that they will end violence, not create space for further violence.”

    President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan voiced the greatest concern about the strength of Taliban militants in Swat as he ended his first visit to the region since taking up his post.

    “I talked to people from Swat and they were, frankly, quite terrified. Swat has really deeply affected the people of Pakistan, not just in Peshawar but in Lahore and Islamabad,” he said, while a Defence Department official described the deal as a “negative development”.

    On Tuesday night however, US officials in Islamabad privately backed the deal as an attempt to drive a wedge between Swat’s Taliban, which is focused on its demand for Sharia law, and the al-Qaeda-linked Taliban led by Baitullah Mehsud, the notorious commander who controls much of North and South Waziristan and other tribal areas along the Afghan border.

    While they expressed fears that the deal might yet be sabotaged by some Swat Taliban militants who support al-Qaeda, they said that if successful, the deal would break up the alliance between the two groups, which has caused alarm throughout Pakistan and in Washington…


  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Someone tell me ….”Where were are PREDITORS when we REALLY needed them?
    Talk about a target rich enviroment!!

  6. PoliNerd says:

    Do you think either side will keep up their end of the deal? I think it is was a necessary agreement for eventually having peace in this part of the world, but do you this they will follow through? I am not sure, but am interested to keep following the story as it unfolds. I saw a very unique video taking about the same topic, but I couldn’t believe the perspectives they gave. BBC, France 24, Outlook India, Tehran Times and more. Very appealing and affecting for those who enjoy expansive news coverage.


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