Pak court declares Fazlullah, Muslim Khan proclaimed offenders

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 18:55

Islamabad: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan`s troubled Swat valley on Wednesday declared local Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, his spokesman Muslim Khan and five other aides as "proclaimed offenders" and ordered them to appear before it within a week.
Judge Khalil Khan Khalil declared Fazlullah and his aides
as "proclaimed offenders" or fugitives from law.

He ordered them to appear in the local police station or
in his court within seven days, failing which action would be
taken against them.

Besides Fazlullah, the others named in the court`s order
were Muslim Khan, Shah Duran -- who is known for issuing
orders for people to be executed in his radio broadcasts --
Ahmed Ali Shah, Gul Akbar, Akhtar Ayub and Sirajuddin.

Over 100 cases, including several of murder and attempted
murder, have been registered against Fazlullah, whose current
whereabouts are not known.

Local courts in Swat began functioning after the army
restored order in most parts of the scenic valley, located 160
km from the federal capital. The local chapter of the
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan led by Fazlullah had ordered all
courts in Swat to close down earlier this year.

Judges had fled with their families from many parts of
Malakand division, which includes Swat.

The security forces initially cracked down on Fazlullah,
also known as "FM Maulana" for his fiery radio broadcasts, in
October 2007. The offensive was halted due to a peace deal
being concluded in Swat.

The government called in the army to eliminate the
Taliban in May this year after militants in Swat took
advantage of the peace deal to extend their influence to
nearby Buner and Dir districts.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said several weeks ago
that Fazlullah, who carries a reward of Rs 50 million on his
head, had been injured in the military operations against the
Taliban and that troops had surrounded the area where he was

However, there has been no news since then about his

The army says around 1,800 Taliban fighters have been
killed in the operations in Malakand.

There is no independent confirmation of the figure. Army
chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said last week that 300
soldiers also lost their lives in the fighting.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 18:55

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