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