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Taliban new dictum: Marry daughters to militants

Islamabad On the heels of their crusade against girls going to schools, the Taliban have now issued new dictum in the areas under their sway asking parents of the grown up daughters to marry them to militants or ‘face dire consequences’.

This new force-marriage campaign is being run in most of the areas in the Pakistan's troubled NWFP through regular announcements made in mosques to congregations.

Such instances have come to light recently through some of the affected women daring to go to authorities for justice rather than meekly surrender to the militants dictates.

Salma, who teaches in a primary school in Peshawar, told the influential ‘Dawn’ newspaper that Taliban have told families to declare in mosques if they have unmarried girls so that their hand could be given in marriage, most probably to militants.

If they did not do so, the girls would be forcibly married off; the newspaper quoted the 30-year-old widow as saying.

She also said the Taliban in the Swat valley of NWFP have threatened women with dire punishment, if they are found outside their homes without identity cards and a male relative accompanying them.

Couples should also carry 'Nikah Nama' or marriage certificates with them when they venture out of home or they will be in trouble, she said.

"I have heard that Taliban have announced that if a girl above the age of seven is found outside her house, she would be slaughtered," Salma said.

Once an avid listener of Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah's FM radio station, Salma doesn't tune in to the channel any more.

"Usually there is only dreadful news on the radio, so I stopped listening to it," said Salma, who has three sons.

Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for the fiery sermons he broadcasts on his illegal FM station, leads a campaign by Taliban militants to enforce Shariat or Islamic law in Swat.

Fazlullah's followers have blown up or torched over 100 girls' schools in Swat and barred women from going to markets.

The Taliban's recent decision to completely ban girls' education from January 15 has upset Salma and her colleagues because most of them are the sole bread-winners of their families.

"My colleagues were crying when they heard this bad news. Some have aged and handicapped parents while others have lost their male members in the ongoing conflict," she said.

"Our principal has said that all female teachers should write down the domestic problems forcing them to work so that they could be forwarded to Taliban, who would be requested to review their policy about women's education," Salma said.

Women who go out for work, especially social work, are tagged as immoral and eliminated by militants controlling the area, he said.

Bakht Zeba, a 45-year-old woman councillor who was a staunch supporter of girls' education, was murdered on November 25. She was first threatened by Taliban to stop her activities or face dire consequences. When she did not pay heed to the warnings, the Taliban shot her dead in her house.

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Send a Jatha of Singhs to roam the area and deal with these Tali-Tubbies. They did in the past and can do it now. The Pak Govt has obviously abandoned half of Pakistan to these barbarians. NWPF district is as much a home to us as Ludhiana or Moga. All part of Greater Panjab.

The world should just leave the Pathans to themselves. All the lands of the Pathans should be united and left to themselves to govern according to their traditions.

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Jatboot, The moghals were invaders who ruled over an indigenous people of Kashmir. The Pathans of NW frontier and Afghanistan are not invaders. They are indigenous of NW frontier and Afghanistan. They have their own tribal laws and traditions according to which they prefer to live. Why does the west feel the need to impose democracy and western ways on these people who just want to be left alone to themselves? Culturally/psychologically these people are still 500 years behind the rest of the world. Yet the west feels these people who are still obviously stuck in the middle ages need to imposed a 20th century ideology of democracy on them. They need to be left alone, it is as simple as that.

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I do agree with you about Greater Punjab though. But instead of NW frontier, it should be Jammu and Kashmir which should be part of greater Punjab. The five rivers not only flow through there, but even the language they speak is a dialect of Punjabi called Dogri/Mirpuri dialects.

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