Pakistan has arrested a radical Islamic cleric who brokered a failed peace deal with militants in Swat Valley.
The information minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain of North West Frontier Province confirmed to VOA (Deewa service) that Maulana Sufi Muhammad is in government custody. He said authorities arrested Muhammad in Peshawar on Sunday for allegedly encouraging violence by helping militants and undermining the government's anti-terrorism campaign in the region.
The information minister said Muhammad would be tried in a court of law, based on the findings of an investigation into his activities. The influential cleric helped negotiate a peace deal in February that required militants led by his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah to disarm. In exchange, the government agreed to allow Islamic law (Sharia) to function in the Swat Valley area. The truce collapsed in April when militants advanced into nearby districts.