Pak minister `ready to forgive` Taliban if they lay down arms

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 23:17

Peshawar: A Pakistani provincial minister
on Tuesday said he was prepared to forgive the Taliban fighters
responsible for killing his only son if the rebels laid down
their arms and gave up militancy.

Talking to reporters at Fiza Ghat in Swat district, a
former Taliban stronghold, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information
Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said he was ready to pardon the
spilling of the blood of his son Mian Raashid Hussain if the
rebels gave up violence.

"I invite them to lay down arms and I am ready to
forgive the killing of my son," he said.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed
responsibility for gunning down Hussain’s son in July last
year.

Hussain said there was no justification for the
militants to take up arms and continue their armed struggle
against innocent citizens after the establishment of
`Nizam-e-Adl` and `Darul Qaza` or Islamic legal system and
courts in the Swat valley.

"Those taking up arms now would not be Muslims," he
said.

Arrested terrorists will be presented in courts
functioning under the Nizam-e-Adl system in Swat and given
exemplary sentences, he said.

"The terrorists ruined the peace of the scenic valley
in the name of Islam, destroyed schools, mosques and other
government buildings and slaughtered innocent people," he
said.

He said even after after the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
government inked a peace agreement with them, they violated
the accord as they continued with their terrorist activities
and tried to establish a state within a state in Swat.

But now the government has broken the back of the
Taliban movement as peace prevails in Swat district, he
claimed.

The provincial government has fulfilled its promise
regarding the setting up of Nizam-e-Adl and Darul Qaza
according to the aspirations of the people of Malakand
division, he said.

The federal government moved troops into Swat after
Taliban fighters violated the terms of the peace deal and
tried to extend their influence to several districts located
100 km from the federal capital.

Hundreds of militants have been killed in the region
but key Taliban commanders continue to be at large.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 23:17

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