An update on the Taliban’s encroachment in Pakistan, while Islamabad diverts troops from the area. “Taliban “˜enforce sharia” in lower Orakzai Agency,” by Abdul Saboor Khan for the Daily Times, December 28:
HANGU: The Taliban have announced the enforcement of sharia in the lower parts of Orakzai Agency, Taliban sources said. The Taliban announcement follows the “˜enforcement of sharia” in the upper parts of the agency seven days ago. Sources said the Taliban were using loudspeakers in mosques to announce the decree and were asking the people to bring their issues to “˜Taliban Islamic courts”, which have been set up in Mashti Meela and Feroze Khel, for their resolution according to Islamic law. The Taliban have banned women from visiting bazaars and have imposed a complete ban on TV and CDs and video centres in the agency. They have, however, allowed women to visit bazaars for medical treatment, but that too if they are accompanied by a male elder of the family. There are 21 tribes in Orakzai and the Taliban have imposed Islamic law on 16 tribes. The other five tribes reside in areas where the Taliban have not announced sharia enforcement as yet. The tribal traditions earlier did not require women to veil their faces, but the Taliban decree has asked them to cover their bodies at all times. The Taliban have also established complaint cells in Ghiljo and Kandi Mishti (Upper Orakzai), and Mamoozai and Feroze Khel (Lower Orakzai).