Pak govt allegedly paid USD 6 mn to Taliban for ceasefire
The Taliban in Pakistan's restive Swat valley received Rs 480 million (USD 6 million) in compensation from the government after agreeing to a ceasefire with security forces for an indefinite period, a media report said on Wednesday.

The militants agreed to lay down arms and endorse a peace deal between the government and religious hardliner Sufi Mohammad to impose Shariah or Islamic laws in Swat in exchange for the payment, Italian news agency Adnkronos International (AKI) reported quoting security sources.

"The amount has been paid through a backchannel," a senior security official told AKI on condition of anonymity.

"It is compensation for those who were killed during military operations and compensation for the properties destroyed by the security forces. In fact, negotiations for this package were finalised well before Maulana Sufi Mohammad signed a peace deal."

The security official said the amount was delivered from a special fund of President Asif Ali Zardari.

All of Pakistan's tribal areas come under President's jurisdiction and a special aid package, including a donation from the US, was designated for the region by the President's office and distributed through the Governor's office in North West Frontier Province, the report said.

"Some other smaller amounts are also under negotiation, which shall also be delivered soon," the official said.

The Taliban in Swat today extended for an indefinite period a 10-day ceasefire announced by them last week.

An agreement for enforcing Shariah in Swat was reached between authorities and Sufi Mohammad's group, Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e- Shariah Mohammadi, last week.

The deal came after months of fierce fighting in which hundreds of civilians and militants were killed and 500,000 people displaced.

The Taliban endorsed the deal after Sufi Mohammad held discussion with militant leader Maulana Fazlullah, who is also his son-in-law.
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