Taliban bans co-education in restive Pakistan tribal areas
Islamabad, Jan 4 (IANS) After banning girls' education in Swat district of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan, Taliban militia Sunday imposed restrictions on co-education in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
Pamphlets attributed to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were distributed in the restive tribal areas of the country, asking school owners and teachers to close down all institutes offering co-education even at the pre-school level.
The pamphlets in Urdu asked the government to stop issuing identity cards to women 'with or without pictures'. According to Pakistani rules, every adult above 18 years of age has to have an identity card with his/her photo pasted on it.
The pamphlet said all co-education schools and issuance of identity cards should be stopped by Monday. 'No school should open Monday with co-education,' the pamphlet warned.
However, there was no mention if the girls can go to schools reserved for them in the tribal areas.
Taliban leaders in the restive Swat district declared Dec 26 that any girl found going to school after Jan 15 will be dealt with according to the 'Islamic laws'.
'All the private and government schools have been given a 15-day deadline to close down the female education facilities. They have also banned women from visiting markets,' said Mohamed Osman, a school teacher and social worker.
'We have no choice but to follow the orders. The government cannot give us protection. Taliban runs a parallel government in 90 percent of the area of the district and they execute everyone who opposes them,' Osman said.
The TTP had then said the Swat leadership of the Taliban would be asked to review the ban.
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