Pro-Taliban fighters have declared an indefinite ceasefire in Pakistan’s restive Swat valley after a deal was struck to enforce Sharia law there.
It consolidates a temporary truce they had announced following last week’s controversial deal between a radical cleric and authorities. The army says it has ceased operations against militants in Swat, which was until 2007 one of Pakistan’s prime tourist destinations. Fighting flared late that year after hundreds of insurgents infiltrated from Afghan border enclaves. While peace is welcome news for local people, the decision to give in to the Islamists’ demand for Sharia law is likely to cause concern among Pakistan’s Western allies.