Tehrik-I-Nifas-e-Shariat (TNS) in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP); its leaders, its mandate, the activities of its members and other names the TNS may be known by; whether the TNS is also known as the Tehrik/Tanzim Nifaz Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) [PAK35733.E]

No report/mention of an organization called Tehrik-I-Nifas-e-Shariat (TNS) could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, an organization called Tehrik-i-Nifaz-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM), launched in 1994 a campaign for the enforcement of law in the Malakand division of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan (AFP 17 Jan. 1999; Middle East News Items 19 Jan. 1999). The campaign turned into uprisings that led to the murder of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) member of the NWFP provincial assembly, Badiuz Zaman Khan (ibid.; AFP 17 Jan. 1999).

In October 1998, TNSM chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad ordered his followers to kill journalists who opposed the implementation of a bill called the"15th constitutional amendment" bill, or "Shariah bill" (IPS 5 Nov. 1998). The bill was introduced in August 1998 by prime minister Nawaz Sharif (ibid.). A 17 January 1999 report in the Islamabad-based The News states that in January 1999:

the NWFP government promulgated Shariah Nizam-i-Adl Regulations, 1999, in the Malakand Division and Shariah Nizam-i-Adl Ordinance, 1999, in Kohistan district to introduce [a] "real" Islamic system in these areas.

The main features of the Shariah Nizam-e-Adl are as follows:

The Qazi courts would be run in accordance with the Islamic injunctions.
All the cases would be processed and decided in the light of the Shariah.
The government will appoint Muawan Qazis (assistant qazi) who will assist the court in reaching a judgment.
Ulema will be allowed to act as lawyers.
The Peshawar High court and the Fedral Shariat Court will set up circuit benches in Malakand and Kohistan.
Court will be bound to decide civil cases in three months while the time provided for criminal cases is six months.
Cases involving non-Muslims will be decided in accordance with their religious laws.
The district Qazi will have the power to shift a case from one investigation officer to another.
The parties to a cases will have the right to take their case to "Muslaheen" (mediators).
The police challan in a case can only be submitted to the court hearing the case (ibid.).

A 1 August 1999 Toronto Star report quotes the TNSM leader as saying that the Islamic law implented in January 1999 was too lenient towards non-Muslims who were still allowed to be judged under their own religious laws and that the Shariah should apply in all cases.

A 29 April 2000 Dawn report states that the TNSM chief Maulana Soofi Mohammad postponed "public meetings and processions" calling for the enforcement of the Shariat after a meeting was organized by the Malakand administration to respond to the TNSM following demands:

enforcement of Sharia law as final official laws in all courts,
cases should be decided purely in accordance with Qrran and Sunnah and
in cases of appeals against any verdict the cases should be decided within the concerned district.

TNSM and the local administration made an agreement which was signed by the NWFP governor. The provisions of the agreement are that:

I) Under the Shari Nizam-i-Adl Regulations 1999, Islamic Sharia is and shall be the supreme law in Malakand division and district Kohistan. The government clearly understands and accepts this position and shall act to enforce the supremacy of Sharia in these areas.
II) According to Sharia Nizam-i-Adl Regulations 1999, the parties are bound o accept Sharia for adjudication of all cases and Qazi shall be bound to decide every case in accordance with Sharia.
III) The government shall continue to make concerted efforts for the establishment of Sharia Circuit Bench in Malakand division so that appeals can be decided at the divisional level.

A 27 July 2000 report published in the Islamabad-based newspaper The Nation states that the head of the TNSM, Maulana Sofi Muhammad issued a Fatwa [religious decree] against NGOs in his native district of DIR, claiming that they were instrumental in the "conspiracies" of "non-believers". A government official banned NGO personnel from visiting their projects in the town of Maidan and the surrounding villages (ibid.) The report also states that a local religious leader ordered the killing of all westerners who visited Maidan. A women's rights group called Khowindah Kor was threatened by the TNSM and warned to "shut down all their activities in Dir, or have their offices attacked and burnt down."(IPS 9 Sept. 1999). The TNSM also described as "immoral" a women's program sponsored by the European Union-funded IUNC Dir-Kohistan Biodiversity Project in the town of Dir, which is located 250km northwest of Islamabad (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 17 January 1999. "Pakistan Enforces Islamic Law on Afghan Border." (NEXIS)

Dawn [Karachi]. 30 April 2000. "Peshawar: Terik-i-Nifaz-i-Sharia Muhammadi Calls of Campaign." http://www.dawn.com/2000/04/30/local18.htm [Accessed: 6 Dec. 2000]

Inter Press Service (IPS). 9 September 1999. Mudassir Rizvi. "Rights-Pakistan: religious Leaders Target Women's Rights Groups." (NEXIS)

_____. 5 November 1998. "If You're Not a Puppet of Shariah Movement in Pakistan You Could Hang." Indian Express [Bombay, in English]. 5 November 1998. http://www.expressindia.com/ie/daily/19981105/3095014.html [Accessed 5 Dec. 2000]

Middle East News Items [Ramat, Israel]. 19 January 1999. "Malakand Situation Reaches Boiling Point." (NEXIS)

The News [Islamabad, in English]. 17 January 1999. "Pakistan: Further on Introduction of Islamic Law in NWFP Areas." (FBIS-NES-99-017 17 Jan. 1999)

The Nation [Islamabad, in English]. 27 July 2000. "Religious Decree Against NGOs in Northern Pakistan." (FBIS-NES-2000-0727 27 July 2000)

The Toronto Star. 1 August 1999. Martin Regg Cohn. "Fire of Conviction." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases