Beware of guys like this roaming around the markets
Long-haired men with flowing beards — indicative of the Taliban — have reappeared in Peshawar, worrying locals and business owners of renewed threats, violence.
“Long-haired men reappear in Peshawar markets,” by Daud Khattak for the Daily Times, November 15:
* People alarmed at presence of men in appearance typical of Taliban
PESHAWAR: Men with long hair and flowing beards have once again made their way to Peshawar and can be seen singly or in groups of twos and threes in the city markets.
The long-haired men, typical of the Taliban operating in the tribal agencies of Waziristan, Bajaur and Mohmand, had gone underground following the launching of the military operation against Bara-based Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) of Mangal Bagh in late June this year.[…]
Though, the long-haired men did not issue threats to boutiques displaying mannequins, coffee shops playing music or internet cafes and CD shops, their presence has spread a wave a fear among the dwellers and shop owners who are already living in a state of peril because of the increasing incidents of violence and unabated kidnappings of businessmen, common citizens, NGO persons and foreign diplomats.
In the month of June, groups of such people from Bara would visit markets and distribute warning letters to shop owners or issue them direct threats to stop playing music or cable TV and avoid displaying photographs of actresses or women models in their shops.
However, the limited scale operation in Bara suppressed the trend and the inhabitants and businessmen of the walled city took a sigh of relief, though for a temporary period.
But the recent reappearance of the Taliban-styled men, now from Mohmand and Khyber, has once again disturbed the already harassed people.
Owner of a boutique dealing in women’s garments and cosmetics, who wished not to be named, said the ratio of women customers had drastically reduced following the recent blast, the incidents of kidnapping and the reappearance of the Taliban-styled guys in the markets.
Mohammad Shoib, a government employee, told Daily Times that he accompanied his children to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon.
“This is a tough routine, but I have no other option,” he said. Shoib added that he used to send his children to school with a rickshaw wala, but the increasing incidents of kidnapping and lawlessness forced him to accompany his children from home to school and vice versa.