The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have warned villagers in Pasani, in the jurisdiction of Mattani police station, to stop shaving their beards and listening to music. In pamphlets pasted on the exterior of a mosque, militants also threatened thieves with dire consequences if they fail to stop their activities.
Locals told The Express Tribune two pamphlets were pasted on the wall during the wee hours of the night which they saw in the morning. The literature was in Pashto and was quoting an unnamed TTP commander.
“The warnings asked people to refrain from arranging musical gatherings at weddings, listening to music and shaving their beards,” said an elder. He told The Express Tribune the pamphlet stated that its authors know “exactly who is involved in robberies in the villages” and if the thieves do not give up, militants will deal with them accordingly.
After a hiatus
“These pamphlets have appeared in the area after a very long time,” said Farman Khan, the head of Adezai Aman Lashkar. “Such moral policing should not be used to pressurise people.”
Khan explained in wake of the ongoing military operations in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency, militant activities have decreased in the area but the pamphlets are evidence that some elements are still active in the vicinity.
Adezai is the first settlement of Peshawar where the Taliban established a base back in 2008. The chapter was called TTP Adezai. In 2009, the first aman lashkar was formed by Farman’s brother Dilawar Khan and since then it has been striving to root out militants from the area. Also since then, at least 120 locals have died in target killing, suicide attacks and IED blasts.
“They [TTP militants] are on the run and if tracked down properly, militancy can be gotten rid of once and for all,” said Khan.
He demanded the police deal with sympathisers of militancy with an iron fist in order to root out the problem completely. Khan explained Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar, located close to Adezai, is probably the last stronghold of militants in the area but they cannot challenge security forces or police anymore.
“They are busy in collecting extortion and fighting rival factions in FR Peshawar,” he said.
When contacted, the police said they had no information on the pamphlets and are investigating the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2014.