Sufi Mohammad not arrested : Malik

Saturday, June 6, 2009

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s Advisor on Interior, Rehman Malik has rejected reports that the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Mohammad has been arrested, the Dawn reports.

Earlier, the TNSM leaders had said that Sufi Muhammad, his sons Rizwanullah and Ziaullah, TNSM deputy chief Maulana Muhammad Alam, spokesman Amir Izzat Khan and central council member Maulana Syed Wahab were among those who had been arrested by law enforcement agencies.

However, the government did not confirm Muhammad’s arrest, but the ISPR said his deputy, Mohammad Alam, and his spokesman, Ameer Izzat, have been arrested.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Information Minister, had also said that the aides were “holed up in the compound of a seminary, when they were arrested along with a few militants.”

Cleric Mohammad Wahab and three Afghan fighters were also arrested, the ISPR spokesperson Major-General Athar Abbas said.

“The army raided the seminary on an intelligence tip-off that a meeting of terrorists was in progress there,” Major General Athar Abbas said.

Sufi Muhammad struck a deal with the NWFP Government in February to restore peace in Swat and surrounding areas by proposing to put three million people under Islamic law.

But the deal collapsed in May when Taliban fighters advanced to districts within 100km of Islamabad more than six weeks ago. (ANI)

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