"It is certainly reason for concern," NATO spokesman James Appathurai said in Brussels, according to the Associated Press. "We should all be concerned by a situation in which extremists would have a safe haven. Without doubting the good faith of the Pakistani government, it is clear that the region is suffering very badly from extremists and we would not want it to get worse."
The federal government has not yet signed the deal, and on Tuesday morning, perhaps stung by the negative international reaction, government officials emailed reporters talking points describing the deal as conditional. "The proposed technical amendments in the regulation are conditioned on peace and laying down of arms by militants," Farahnaz Ispahani, a presidential spokeswoman, wrote.
Separately, a Pakistani official pointed out the deal has technically been in place since the late 1990s, and that this is simply an update to previous laws that were tweaked in part to appease Muhammad.
Today in Mingora, Muhammad said he was hopeful that talking to the group led by his son-in-law would bring peace.
"We will soon open dialogue with the Taliban. We will ask them to lay down their weapons. We are hopeful that they will not let us down," Muhammad said. "We will stay here in the valley until peace is restored."
But these agreements have been made before, and they have all dissolved into violence.
"The governments have gone through such agreements before," Towali said. "And those didn't work. It just gives the militants a chance to regroup and regain power."