Cleric demands Pakistan launch Islamic courts soon

A hard-line cleric sent by Pakistan to talk to the Taliban demanded on Sunday that the government establish Islamic courts in the troubled Swat Valley by mid-March or risk a wave of protests. The demand by Sufi Muhammad threatened to undermine a shaky peace process already facing international criticism. Pakistan has promised to impose Islamic law in Swat and surrounding areas. The military and the Taliban militants who control much of the valley have agreed to a cease-fire.