Pakistani officials are closing in on a peace deal with a Taliban-linked group that could lead to the enforcement of Islamic law in a volatile part of the country near the Afghan border.
Militants in the Swat Valley declared a 10-day cease-fire as a goodwill gesture ahead of the expected formal announcement of the agreement Monday. It was likely to draw criticism from the United States, which has said such deals merely give insurgents time to regroup.
Several past deals with militants have failed, but Pakistan says force alone cannot defeat al-Qaida and Taliban fighters wreaking havoc in its northwest and attacking US troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
The United States has said the deals merely give insurgents time to regroup.