Taliban ban female education in Pakistan’s Swat district

December 24th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Dec 24 (DPA) Islamic militants have imposed a ban on female education and warned teachers of severe consequences if any girl is seen heading for a school in the restive Swat district of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, local residents said Wednesday.The announcement was made Friday by a spokesman of radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah - who has waged armed struggle to impose Taliban rule in the district - on a pirated FM radio frequency regularly used by the militants.

“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,” Mohammad Osman, a school teacher and social worker, told DPA.

“We have no choice but to follow the orders. The government cannot give us protection. Taliban have established a parallel government in 90 percent area of the district and they execute everyone who opposes them,” he added.

Pakistan deployed more than 30,000 troops to quell Fazlullah’s rebellion in October, but the government has not been able to establish its writ in the district. Hundreds of troops, insurgents and civilians have died in the continuing clashes.

Rebels have blown up or torched hundreds of girls’ schools over the last 14 months while female teachers regularly receive threats.

“From 9.00 in the morning till 3.00 in the afternoon, you can see military patrolling the streets of some towns. As they leave, Taliban take over and for the rest of the day and night they rule the area,” said Osman.

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