ISLAMABAD President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday reiterated the government commitment to never allow militants to set up a parallel judiciary, despite the fact militants are reported to have already established their own courts in Swat.
`We will not allow them to set up their parallel judiciary system and threaten the local people to either appear before them or face death,` the President said in telephone conversation with veteran Pukhtun leader and former Federal Minister Afzal Khan Lala in Druskhela, who also received threats in Swat.
The president congratulated him on his courageous and principled stand in not giving in before the militants.
President Zardari vowed that he would not abandon his homeland and people in the face of militants` threats. The veteran leader thanked the president for his support.
He assured the veteran politician of the governments support to him and his family against the militants. `The militants will not be allowed to impose their ideology and political agenda on the people through the barrel of the gun,` the president said.
Taliban are reportedly running parallel courts in several areas of Swat district to provide what they call `speedy and easy justice` to people. However, the NWFP government claims it is simply a Taliban ploy to attract the public and media attention. These courts are reportedly functioning in many parts of Kabal, Matta and Khwazakhela tehsils.
Locals said with the exception of Kanju town and Mingora city, more than 70 Taliban courts were functional in all parts of the valley.
The Taliban recently released a list of 43 people - including former and incumbent ministers - who they have declared `wanted` and liable to punishment under the Taliban sharia.
The `wanted` men also include former and current members of the national and provincial assemblies, district and local nazims, officials of political parties, local elders and other influential residents of the restive valley.
The announcement that the leaders were liable to punishment and must appear in Taliban courts was made by rebel cleric Mullah Fazlullah on his FM radio channel on Sunday morning.
Maulana Fazlullah had said that Swat residents other than those on the list would not be harmed, and that the people who had fled the area could return to their homes.
The summoning of politicians and citizens to Shariah courts in Swat is further testimony to the absence of the state`s writ and the growing boldness of militants, says the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The government claims of having control over the area are impossible to believe when citizens continue to be killed in brazen attacks and the illegal Taliban radio station announces the names of the people that they would kill later in the day.
Meanwhile, Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) Director General Maj-Gen Athar Abbas told media on Wednesday that more troops were being sent to Swat to control the situation.