Pakistan’s Taliban ‘Calls the Shots’ in Swat Valley

Pakistani Officials Agree to Ban on 'Obscene' Films as Part of 17 Point Plan

Details of a 17-point plan for Swat Valley agreed to earlier this week between Pakistani forces and Sufi Muhammad, head of the Tehreek-e Nafaz-e Shariat-e Mohammad (TNSM) weren’t made immediately available at the time of its signing, but it seems now that it is just the latest move to strengthen the hold of the various Taliban-styled militants attempting to convert the former tourist trap into an Islamist state-within-a-state in Pakistan.

The Taliban now call the shots. We cannot do anything that offends them,” one local shopkeeper noted, having recently given up on selling music CDs in favor of the less offensive poultry trade. The Pakistani government has insisted since they agreed to enforce Islamic law across Malakand last month that they wouldn’t allow the groups to force their particularly harsh interpretations on the Swat Valley. Signs are pointing to this not being the case.

The LA Times is in fact reporting that the officials are not only looking the other way, but are formally agreeing to such things as banning “obscene” films, and forcing shops to close at prayer times. Pakistani human rights groups fear this latest step will not be the last.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.