Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sufi Mohammad arrested in Peshawar

A prominent religious leader in Pakistan's Swat valley has been arrested after allegedly speaking against the government and encouraging violence.

Maulana Sufi Mohammed, who brokered a failed deal with Islamabad that would have seen a stricter interpretation of sharia - or Islamic law - in Swat was seized on Sunday in the city of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

"The government has arrested Maulana Sufi Mohammed. A formal case against him will be registered soon," Mian Iftekhar Hussein, the information minister for NWFP, said.

"He killed a lot of people. Again he was planning for this. We will not allow anyone to destroy peace at Malakand and Swat."

Sufi Mohammed's two sons, Ziaullah and Rizwanullah, were reportedly arrested with him during a police raid. His third son, a teacher, was killed in a Pakistani military bombardment in May.

"Many people here will tell you that Sufi Mohammed was an arbiter of peace," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the capital, Islamabad, said.

"There has been much disagreement over who broke the [peace] deal."

No comments: