Harmonium player murdered by Taliban militants
|On 15 December 2008, a group of musicians were attacked by armed men. Two days later at a hospital in Peshawar, the harmonium player Anwar Gul died from his wounds.
By Shaheen Buneri
Photo by Asad Danish
Pakistan permits sharia law in Swat
Pakistan’s government has agreed to restore sharia, or Islamic law, in the Swat Valley and neighbouring areas of the country’s northwest, reported several news medias on 16 February 2008.
The agreement was reached after talks in Peshawar between members of Tahrik-e-Nafiz Shariat Muhammadi and officials of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government.
“This is not the first time Sharia law has been imposed in this area,” Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder said, reporting from Pakistan. “In the mid 1990s it was imposed following violent protests by the movement for the implementation of sharia law there.
Unlike regions under tribal rule in the northwest, where al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters have found safe havens to launch attacks both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Pakistani government has typically controlled the Swat Valley. Conservative groups aiming to introduce sharia have been fighting government troops in the region since 2007. The groups took control there after a 2008 peace deal collapsed within months of being signed.
Much of the violence, which has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, has been blamed on the Taliban in Swat, headed by Mullah Fazlullah, the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the leader of Tahrik-e-Nafiz Shariat Muhammadi, reported Al-Jazeera
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