PESHAWAR - In pursuance of its decision of combating trends of violence, militancy and terrorism, through negotiation and reconciliation, the NWFP Government Monday set free Maulana Soofi Mohammad, chief of banned Tehrik Nifaz Shariah Mohammadi (TNSM). The TNSM chief was under treatment in Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar from where he was brought to Frontier House and informed about his release by Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti. The release of Maulana Soofi Mohammad was effected in the light of understanding reached between the members of banned TNSM and the Government jirga. Besides the NWFP Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, the daylong negotiations between the two sides were attended by Senior Ministers Bashir Ahmad Bilour, Rahim Dad Khan, Forest Minister Wajid Ali Khan Advocate, Information Minister Sardar Hussain Babak, Information Technology Minister Mohammad Ayub Khan, Irrigation Minister Engineer Humayoon Khan and others. The banned TNSM team was headed by acting chief Maulana Mohammad Alam. "Release of Maulana Soofi Mohammad is having no connection with the demand of release of around one dozen persons in return of Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Mr Tariq Aziz Ud Din," remarked a high-ranking government official. He said that this decision was in accordance with the NWFP Government's firm commitment regarding a negotiated solution to the issue of militancy and terrorism. This decision, he added, would play a key role in the success of efforts aimed at returning peace and stability in the region. However, further details of the understanding between the two sides in this connection couldn't be ascertained. Agencies add: some 30 others were released under a peace agreement with tribal elders, provincial information minister Sardar Hussain Babek told AFP. "Sufi Muhammad and the jirga have given assurances that he and his companions will remain peaceful," Babek said. "Our government wants all the issues to be resolved amicably through negotiations," he said. A copy of the peace agreement issued to media late Monday said suicide bombings and the killing of innocent people had necessitated the accord. Under the agreement, TNSM will continue to pursue a peaceful struggle for the enforcement of Islamic Sharia while respecting the law and condemning those commit violence. Army spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said the military was not involved in the government's decision to release Sufi. He said 90 per cent of the valley was peaceful, but that the army was still conducting occasional search operations against militant holdouts and had recently set up a checkpoint at Fazlullah's former headquarters to stop followers from slipping back in the area. No decision has been made to withdraw the army, Abbas said. Shortly after, Sufi Muhammad left the hospital in a vehicle under police escort, accompanied by followers wearing black turbans, said Zafar Khan, a paramedic at the hospital. Monitoring Desk adds: Local Taliban welcoming the release of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, described it as a step towards establishment of peace, a private TV channel reported. Authorities released Muhammad after nearly seven years of detention. Under the agreement, TNSM will continue to pursue a peaceful struggle for the enforcement of Islamic Shariah while respecting the law and condemning those commit violence.