By Jawad Mazhar, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan
HANGGU, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– Minority Christians and other non-Muslims faced potential persecution Tuesday, December 30, as militants linked to Taliban and Al-Qaeda groups imposed Shariah, or Islamic law, in the Orakzai Agency tribal region of the restive Pakistani North West Frontier Province (NWFP), officials told BosNewsLife.
Local officials, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, said Taliban and Al-Qaeda followers had installed Sharia Courts and urged “that all the people should go the Islamic Sharia Courts for justice.”
The move was seen as an attempt to take away control of Pakistan’s central government over the troubled area. Hard-line groups have also banned recreational activities including, such as watching television, listening to music, or buying satellite dishes and Compact Disks across Orakzai Agency, government officials added.
Taliban fighters reportedly announced through mosques’ loud speakers that woman are not allowed to work outside their homes. Fighters also ordered women to wear a veil and were told not go to market places for shopping or to visit doctors alone, “unless an elder male member of the family is with them,” residents said.
In addition, militants put restriction on girls’ education, BosNewsLife learned. They also threatened masses “of dire consequences” in case anyone dared violating their rules, residents said. The latest developments came after Christians received death threats from Islamic group.
Pakistan’s recently elected government has come under international pressure to crackdown on Islamic extremism. (Please help Jawad Mazhar to keep covering persecution from the most difficult areas of Pakistan and the region. Consider a donation. Click or go to: http://bosnewslife.com/donations )