Pak Taliban commander summons dignitaries in its ‘court’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/pak-taliban-commander-summons-dignitaries-in-its-court/

Pak Taliban commander summons dignitaries in its ‘court’

Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazullah has directed over 50 dignitaries to appear in his ‘court’ with their families within a week.

Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazullah has directed over 50 dignitaries,including provincial and federal lawmakers,of the troubled Swat valley to appear in his ‘court’ with their families within a week.

A list of the 50 dignitaries,including the local mayor,elders of Swat and members of the North West Frontier Province assembly and National Assembly,was circulated in the valley on Sunday,TV channels reported.

Fazlullah,a radical cleric who heads Taliban fighters in the Swat valley located 160 km from Islamabad,directed the dignitaries and elders to present themselves in his ‘court’ with their families within a week.

Their absence from his court would lead to operations being conducted against them,Fazlullah warned.

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Some of the persons summoned by Fazlullah have already left Swat due to security reasons.

Most parts of Swat,once a popular tourist resort,are now controlled by the Taliban,who have banned girls’ education in the area and directed men to wear skull caps and stop shaving their beards.

A former mujahideen was recently gunned down by the Taliban for not hiking up his salwar over his ankles.

The Taliban have bombed and torched nearly 200 girls’ schools in Swat and targeted shops selling CDs and DVDs.

Local militants man check posts in most towns and villages in the valley and Shariah or Islamic courts set up by the Taliban dispense their own brand of justice.

Taliban commanders also regularly announce edicts during their nightly broadcasts from illegal FM stations.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Swat since the army launched an offensive against the Taliban in October 2007. Despite several claims from the military that it had cleared the valley of militants,the Taliban are in control of most major towns and villages in Swat.