TNSM chief released after 8 years in jail

PESHAWAR: The head of Shariat Nifaz-e-Muhamadi (TNSM) Maulana Sufi Muhammad was released from Central Prison Peshawar after several years in captivity on Monday.

Talking to The Express Tribune an official of the Central Prison Peshawar said that Muhammad was released from prison around 2pm.

“Yes he [Muhammad] was released after court approved his bail and a few days were required to sort out the documentation so he was released today,” he said, adding that “he remained in the prison for more than eight years and was taken to an unknown destination”.

He was booked in 23 cases and is considered the father of armed struggle in Malakand division.

Muhammad, 93, had been released on bail after his lawyers took the stance that such an old man whose health is deteriorating every single day could not be kept in prison for so long a time and that during all these years no case had been proved against him.

Muhammad is the father in law of TTP chief Maulana Fazalullah and was arrested along with other family members and volunteers of TNSM after the 2009 Swat operation which left thousands of residents of Swat homeless and which finally resulted in the ouster of the TTP Swat warriors from the Swat valley in which there were losses of life from both the sides.

Muhammad was strongly criticized when he took hundreds of volunteers to Afghanistan to fight the US-led NATO force after the 9/11 as he managed to return with a few trusted aides but most of the volunteers never ever returned from Afghanistan.

He had been previously arrested too but was released by the ANP-led provincial government in order to bring the Fazalullah and TNSM to a negotiation table.

When the deal collapsed, a military operation was launched against TTP Swat in 2009 and Maulaha Sufi Muhammad went into hiding. He was later arrested and sent to jails in various cases registered against him.

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