By bearded men with daggers who ask women found in the marketplace,”Who wants to be beheaded first?” “Female shoppers still elusive in Swat,” by Iqbal Khattak for the Daily Times, March 17:
MINGORA: It has been more than a month since the government and the Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) signed a peace deal in Swat but the shopkeepers at Cheena Market, once the busiest in Mingora city, are still waiting for female shoppers.
The Swat-based Taliban had banned females from going to markets and schools for education. However, girls are back in schools after Taliban leader Fazlullah agreed to a peace bid by his father-in-law, TNSM”s chief Sufi Muhammad but women are still avoiding going to bazaars.
“Business has still not returned to normal despite a marked change in the situation,” a shopkeeper, Ikramullah Khan, told Daily Times.
The reason for women staying away from the once popular place is obvious — threats from the Taliban.
On March 8, a bearded man, who the shopkeepers believed to be a Taliban, pulled out a dagger in a shop and said, “Who wants to be beheaded first?”
The incident was enough to frighten the women and prevent them from going to the markets.
“I used to make a good profit when the Taliban had not banned women from going to markets,” a shopkeeper said.[…]
Earlier in January, Taliban had banned women from markets in Mingora. The Taliban have ordered the killing of women seen in market areas…