The message: Submit yourselves to clerical rule, or die. Or perhaps it will be “and/or die.”
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 25 (UPI) — A radical Pakistani Taliban cleric is demanding that a group of more than 50 Swat Valley dignitaries appear in his Islamic “court,” local media says.
Maulana Fazullah, commander of the local Taliban militia in the northwestern Pakistan region, wants its provincial and federal lawmakers, dignitaries, elders and their families to present themselves in his sharia court within a week or be hunted down, the Press Trust of India, quoting local media, reported Sunday.
The Taliban has destroyed nearly 200 girls’ schools and targeted shops selling CDs and DVDs in the former tourist area. Its Islamic courts have directed men to wear skull caps and stop shaving their beards, PTI says.
The Pakistani army launched an offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley in October 2007, but despite several claims it had cleared Swat of militants, the Taliban are in control of most of its major towns and villages, the news agency said.