Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has signed a controversial peace
deal that imposes Islamic law in the northwestern Malakand region.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan's lower house of parliament approved a
resolution urging the president to back the pact between officials in
North West Frontier Province and Islamic cleric and militant leader
The Taliban sympathizer agreed to end months of attacks against
security forces in exchange for the imposition of Islamic law in
Malakand, which includes the former resort area of Swat Valley.
The deal needed executive approval to go into effect.
Western nations, including Pakistan's key ally the United States, have
sharply criticized the deal as capitulating to Islamic extremists.
Last week, Mohammed and his supporters complained that President
Zardari was holding back on the deal and left the his so-called "peace
camp" in the region in protest.
Some Sharia courts have already begun operating in Swat Valley. Most of
the valley is under militant control. Thousands of people have fled and
hundreds of schools have been destroyed since the Taliban sympathizers
began their insurgency in 2007.