US criticizes Islamic law deal in Pakistan

The Obama administration said Pakistan's imposition of Islamic law in a northwest valley to quell a Taliban insurgency undermines human rights, while a visiting US senator urged the country to "ratchet up" its urgency in the terror fight. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs' comments Tuesday were the United States' most pointed criticisms of Pakistan's peace efforts in the Swat Valley to date. They came hours after a hard-line cleric who mediated the deal indicated it will protect militants accused of brutal killings in the one-time tourist haven from prosecution. "The administration believes solutions involving security in Pakistan don't include less democracy and less human rights," Gibbs said. "The signing of that denoting strict Islamic law in the Swat Valley ... goes against both of those principles."