Pakistan Peace Deal Imposes Sharia Law
Agreement creates new 'order of justice' for Swat region
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 7:32 AM CST
Pakistani children stand on the rubble of a government school wrecked by Islamic militants in Pakistan's Swat Valley on Jan. 17, 2009.    (AP Photo/Sherin Zada)
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(Newser) – A peace deal between Pakistan and the Taliban will bring the country's troubled Swat valley under Islamic Sharia law, the BBC reports. The agreement "was reached after realization that it was the demand of the people," a regional official says. Since a violent Taliban campaign to impose Sharia began in 2007, thousands of residents have fled the region, once a popular holiday destination, and hundreds of schools have been destroyed.

"The recommendations and proposals have been finalized, but they can only be implemented after peace is achieved," says the provincial official, who claims that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has "in principle ... approved this package."