US envoy Richard Holbrooke says that the Obama Administration is “troubled and confused” by the deal earlier this week to end the fighting in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in return for the implementation of aspects of Islamic law in Malakand.
“I am concerned, and I know Secretary (Hillary) Clinton is and the President is, that this deal, which is portrayed in the press as a truce, does not turn into a surrender,” Holbrooke said, adding that he had discussed the matter with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who assured him that he too believes that the “people who are running Swat now” pose a danger to Pakistan.
And while the civilian government of Pakistan is the one that made the deal, Holbrooke added that the Obama Administration is now in talks with the Pakistani military and the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency regarding the issue. The Pakistani military previously indicated it would abide by the civilian government’s decision and respect the truce.
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