Court charges Sufi Mohammad with murder, treason

By AFP
Published: July 18, 2011
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Sufi Mohammad, father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of a Taliban insurgency that paralysed the northwestern valley from late 2007 until a military offensive in the spring of 2009, was arrested two years ago. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sufi Mohammad, father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of a Taliban insurgency that paralysed the northwestern valley from late 2007 until a military offensive in the spring of 2009, was arrested two years ago. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: A court on Monday charged a radical Islamic cleric, who once brokered a Taliban peace deal in the Swat valley, with treason and murder, lawyers said.

Sufi Mohammad, father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of a Taliban insurgency that paralysed the northwestern valley from late 2007 until a military offensive in the spring of 2009, was arrested two years ago.

He is now set to go on trial in an anti-terrorism court in Swat, held behind closed doors in a maximum security prison in Peshawar over security fears.

“Today, the court framed murder and treason charges on Sufi Mohammad and his 23 followers,” defence lawyer Majeed Adil Majeed told AFP.

“He and his followers broke the law by attacking a police station, killing 11 people, including nine paramilitary and two policemen, and attacked government buildings, which is treason” Majeed said.

Mohammad has refused to defend himself in court as he does not recognise them and Majeed took on his counsel on orders from the judge.

Arshad Abdullah, law minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, confirmed the indictment.

Fazlullah, who has a Rs50 million price on his head, was the architect of an uprising that marked the only time that a district under government control has effectively slipped into hands of the Taliban.

At the time, he led thousands of supporters, a mixture of hardcore ideologues and disenfranchised young men, in a brutal campaign beheading opponents, burning schools and fighting against government troops.

Security officials say Fazlullah fled into eastern Afghanistan after the army crushed the Taliban uprising in Swat in 2009.

Under a deal brokered by Mohammad, the government agreed to allow the implementation of Islamic law in Swat once violence had stopped but Taliban militants led by Fazllulah refused to lay down arms and undermined the deal.

Troops quelled the uprising in late April 2009 after the Taliban advanced to within 100 kilometres of Islamabad.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • M.Akthar
    Jul 18, 2011 - 7:42PM

    What took 2 years to charge sheet this Gentleman? Efficiency at its best! Our Precedent says when we decide to release someone, then we go to court. Only Rape & Blasphemy Victims get convicted as per the Precedent set by court & never the terrorists.

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  • Cautious
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:11PM

    Better late than never – although based on his looks he may die of old age before he is ever convicted.

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 8:14PM

    “He and his followers broke the law by attacking a police station, killing 11 people, including nine paramilitary and two policemen, and attacked government buildings, which is treason

    Looks like a pretty weak case to me. He will probably get scot-free like all others.

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 8:33PM

    This has to be welcomed by all sane Pakistanis. The white beard is just a façade that age has provided him and hides the hate he carries for mankind. He surely does not carry a heart within his ostensibly fragile body. In fact all his actions show that he is inhuman, brutal and selfish. We all remember him ‘acting’ as a peace monger and how he loved the accolades of the misled.
    Yet there is much to be done. Let us see if any court has the courage to convict him and then if the government is strong enough to carry out the sentence. On that will depend a lot. In fact that will show if we really mean what we say. That is the only way to save our beloved homeland.

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  • hang him hang him hang him hang him
    Jul 18, 2011 - 8:36PM

    hang him

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  • Bilal
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:05PM

    Hang him and others like him. Set an example

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  • First drink, don't think
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:42PM

    Courts should be very careful about deciding the case of this fanatic Maulvi, one of my Uncle, a Doctor in Malakand Agency, had a chance of treating this guy. He told me this Sufi Muhammad is incapable of exercising even the basic reasoning. Anyone who is against any of his idea or theory, religious or non religious, is his enemy and he thinks his enemy as enemy of Islam! Whatever the court decides for this Mr. Fanatic, what is important that the decision should be sold to his followers. In case government hangs this guy, Sawt will be a battle field once again.

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  • Khan
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:52PM

    @M.Akthar:
    Out society is den of unprofessional people .. There is no professionalism in any so called profession that is under the control of Government … including our so called Armed forces.
    I wonder what are our thousand of security personals in different departments and half a million in Armed forces are doing each and every day .. when a bunch of illiterate people can come, over take, kill and run across the border (maybe) including during so called successful operations.
    I also blame those Imams in Saudia who are busy in soam salat and ignoring these criminals who are killing on the name of religion .. Why can’t they come up openly to oppose all these suicides regardless of any excuses. Pope is many times better than them, seeing how he spoke openly in favor of Asia Bibi who was convicted wrongly.

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  • maestro
    Jul 18, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Exactly!! What took so long???? We are very happy to catch bootleggers and so called blasphemy perpetrators – these are the people who commit the real blasphemy by spreading hate and brutal violence against their own country!! Why doesnt any govt get its priorities right and crush these people once and for all????? Treason is punishable by death – give it to him and his followers and all those like him!!!

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  • AZ
    Jul 18, 2011 - 10:23PM

    off with his head!

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  • Jul 18, 2011 - 10:55PM

    All is a government and army game. He should have been hanged long ago. How Fazlullah managed to escape when Swat was surrounded my army?

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  • Imran
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:10AM

    @Bilal:
    Hanging him will not stop Be-headings …

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  • Hussain Mirza
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:52AM

    Finally some justice for Pakistan! Hang all who believe in the same ideals as this man. Pakistan Zindabad!

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  • A J Khan
    Jul 19, 2011 - 10:58AM

    SUFI has full confidence in the courts. He like his friends will be a free man soon.

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  • sars
    Jul 19, 2011 - 3:38PM

    how about we dont ask for him to be charged with anything.We simply hand him over to the families of the shaheed jawans he killed.Also to the families of the young men he seduced into fighting his personal war of grandiosity.That will be much better form of justice than a court which never has the backbone to convict anyone except poor people with no political or social capital.

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  • mind control
    Jul 19, 2011 - 6:05PM

    Don’t worry. Justice will prevail, In 2 years time Sufi Mohammad will also walk a free man like the Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangavi people did.

    Meanwhile, state will pay stipend for inconvenience caused.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 20, 2011 - 1:26AM

    Hahahahahaha nothing will happen. He will stay in Jail as a VVIP person with all facilities available under the sun and later come out with “Clean Chit” from our Azaaaaaad Adliya.

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  • Ravi Shastry
    Jul 20, 2011 - 5:38AM

    It will depend on the Govt.s prosecutor. Recently we saw what happened having a inept prosecutor as a L-e-j terrorist was let go.

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  • bsharat
    Jul 20, 2011 - 4:49PM

    He will be acquitted for want of sufficient evidence . Judges in Pakistan , are very kind towards
    these terrorists . He may stay in prison , for some time ,as a V I P guest .

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  • Jul 20, 2011 - 6:14PM

    Nothing will happen, he will be released as the others.
    The judical system will prove itself incompetent again with excuses like ‘no evidences’ or witnesses backed out.

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  • Sunny
    Jul 20, 2011 - 8:03PM

    He threaten the state in the name of God for own benefits, Just treat him as per law to maintain Govt rit and to emamlfiy for other how want to threaten State for own benefits.Recommend

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