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Pakistani PM Praises Northwest Peace Deal


Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is praising a peace deal with Taliban sympathizers that will impose Islamic law in parts of the volatile northwest.

Mr. Gilani said the deal is in line with his government's policy of "dialogue, development and deterrence."

The U.S. government said it is awaiting further details from the Pakistani government regarding the deal. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid would not say if the U.S. government approved of the agreement.

But NATO has expressed concern about the deal, and the possibility that extremists would have a safe haven in Pakistan.

Officials in North West Frontier Province signed the agreement Monday with Sufi Muhammad, a militant leader who pledged to lay down arms in exchange for Sharia law in Swat valley.

Muhammad is the father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah, who heads a hardline group of Pakistani Taliban that controls much of the Swat valley.

A spokesman for Fazlullah said the militant leader will support his father-in-law's peace agreement, but the men's troubled history could complicate the deal.

Local officials struck another peace deal with Fazlullah last year, but his militants have continued their attacks.

Militants from various factions are operating in northwestern Pakistan. Some use the territory to attack Afghan and international forces in neighboring Afghanistan. Others, like Fazlullah's group, Tehrike Taliban Pakistan, are attacking targets inside Pakistan.

On the outskirts of the northern city of Peshawar Tuesday, a car bomb exploded near the home of a local official, killing three people and wounding at least 12 others.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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