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Rediff.com  » News » Pakistani investigators begin grilling Sufi Mohammad

Pakistani investigators begin grilling Sufi Mohammad

July 27, 2009 19:01 IST

Investigators in Pakistan have begun interrogating Sufi Mohammad, a day after he was arrested for making anti-government statements. The detained cleric brokered a failed peace deal that put three million people under Sharia law but was shattered by renewed Taliban fighting.

The Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi chief is the father-in-law of Pakistan Taliban commander Fazlullah, who has masterminded a two-year uprising that has left the once picturesque Swat Valley ravaged.Mohammad was arrested Sunday on the outskirts of Peshawar.

"The federal government has set up an investigation team of security agencies and Sufi Mohammad will be formally charged on the basis of its findings," the Dawn quoted North West Frontier Province Law Minister Arshad Abdullah, as saying on Monday.

Earlier, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's Adviser on Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik, said Mohammad would remain in police custody after his interrogation.Malik also told the newspaper that Fazlullah has been injured and is in hiding in Swat's mountains along with three to four senior commanders. He said security forces are after him and that he would soon be arrested.

Pakistan had released Mohammad from a six-year jail term last year after he had agreed to work for a peaceful solution in Taliban-infested areas.The elderly cleric had brokered a deal under which Sharia law was the key demand. But the deal fell through after the insurgents refused to put down their arms.

Pakistan has offered a 615,000-dollar reward for Fazlullah, captured dead or alive, and 15 of his top lieutenants, but so far none of them has been confirmed arrested or killed since the latest offensive was launched in April.Pakistan says more than 1,800 militants and 166 security personnel have been killed since April, but the death tolls are impossible to verify independently.

Source: ANI