Son of pro-Taliban cleric killed in Pakistan

Pakistan has mobilized its armed forces to combat the threat from Taliban militants in its tribal regions.
A son of a pro-Taliban cleric who negotiated a controversial peace deal in Pakistan’s Swat Valley was killed Thursday morning, Pakistani and Taliban officials said.

Kafayatullah, the son of Islamist fundamentalist leader Sufi Muhammed, died when mortar shells from Pakistani security forces hit a home in the Lower Dir district of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, said Mehmood Khan, a Taliban commander, and a Pakistani intelligence official who asked not to be identified. The attack took place in the Maiden area. Kafayatullah was not a militant and not part of the Taliban movement, both sources said. Muhammed, his father, signed a peace agreement with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in April that allowed the Taliban to implement Islamic law, or sharia, in the region in exchange for an end to fighting.

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But for the past two weeks, Pakistani troops have battled Taliban fighters in Buner and Lower Dir, two districts bordering Swat, after the Taliban overran the districts. Pakistan army generals say their troops have killed scores of militants.

Under the Taliban’s strict interpretation of sharia law, women should not even be seen in public without their husbands or fathers. The peace deal encompassed the Malakand Division, which includes Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Buner, Shangla, Chitral and Malakand. Kohistan, which is not in Malakand division, also was covered under the deal.