Pakistan: Islamic appellate court formed in NW

Pakistan announced the formation of an Islamic appellate court for part of its northwest under a deal to end fighting between security forces and the Taliban, but a spokesman for a cleric mediating the pact rejected the panel on Sunday. Under the deal struck in February, the government agreed to impose Islamic law in the Swat Valley and surrounding areas that make up the Malakand Division in exchange for peace with militants. But the pact appeared to embolden the Taliban in Swat, who soon entered an adjacent district just 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the capital. American officials have furiously criticized the deal, which they say will encourage militants along the border of Afghanistan, where US and NATO troops are battling an increasingly virulent insurgency.