NWFP lawyers boycott courts against Taliban threat
* Swat lawyers set February 10 deadline for sharia enforcement
By Akhtar Amin
PESHAWAR: NWFP Bar Council (NBC) on Thursday announced boycott of courts today (on Friday) across the province against Swat Taliban’s announcement declaring Malakand Division lawyers as wajibul qatl (who must be killed) and warning to the district judiciary to close courts. NBC through a resolution adopted in its meeting also demanded of the government to implement the proposed Shari Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2008 forthwith in Malakand Division as to end the ongoing unrest in the scenic Swat valley. In a joint press briefing, NBC vice chairman Ahmed Farooq Khattak and Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) president Abdul Lateef Afridi said the Taliban’s announcement regarding Malakand lawyers and warning to district courts were highly condemnable. They said that in the restive Swat valley besides virtual closure of district courts, the government institutions were also closed due to Taliban threat. They demanded of the government to immediately implement Shari Nizam-e-Adl Regulations as to end unrest and other problems there and restore peace in the valley.
Swat lawyers: Meanwhile, Swat District Bar Association (SDBA) has warned the NWFP and federal governments to implement the proposed Shari Nizam-e-Adl Regulation 2008 before February 10 in Malakand Division; otherwise, district lawyers will start a series of protest demonstrations against them. SDBA president Mohammad Aftab Alam told Daily Times on Thursday that Swat lawyers had launched boycott of courts proceedings on February 3 which would continue till 10.
He said that they have set February 10 as deadline for the government to implement Sharia regulations in Malakand Division. He said the SDBA through a delegation has conveyed its demands to both the provincial and federal governments some three days ago regarding implementation of Sharia in volatile Swat district.
He went on to say that the prevailing unrest in the valley would continue until Shari Nazam-e-Adl was implemented there. He alleged that both the provincial and federal governments were delaying implementation of Islamic system in the district, which was the foremost demand of both Swat Taliban and people.
“Killings of innocent people would continue by both the Taliban and security forces till implementation of Islamic law and system in the valley,” the SDBA president said. He said peace would automatically be restored once the government implemented Sharia law in Malakand Division in its true sense. He said NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani some two days ago during a meeting with Swat lawyers at Governor House had assured them that the government will implement Sharia there in a few days. In its proposed draft of Sharia regulations, ANP-led NWFP government has included most of the demands of defunct Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Mohammad, which are also acceptable to Swat rebel cleric and Sufi’s son-in-law Mullah Fazlullah, and forwarded the draft to federal government for approval. The provincial government had said that though there were various technical and legal complications in the TNSM chief demands but the NWFP government for the sake of peace in the volatile valley accepted them and proposed them in the Shari Nizam-e-Adl Regulation draft.
Swat Taliban had declared lawyers as wanted and wajibul qatl three days ago through their illegal FM radio in the restive valley. After the announcement, SDBA president said, he contacted Swat Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan who said that the announcement was made mistakenly and they later rectified it on Wednesday night on their FM radio.