The Pakistani Taliban have begun enforcing Islamic law in the Bajaur tribal region even as scores of militants consolidated their hold on Buner district, located just 100 km from the federal capital.
Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, the militant commander in Bajaur Agency and a deputy of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud, announced the decision to enforce Shariah in the region during a broadcast on his illegal FM radio station on Friday.
Mohammad also barred women from stepping out of their homes without male relatives, banned shaving of beards and warned people against availing assistance from the Benazir Income Support Programme, a government project to provide financial aid to women.
During a 40-minute speech on radio, Mohammad said he and his fighters would spare no effort to strictly implement Islamic laws in the region.
The Taliban have formed an "action group" to ensure the enforcement of Shariah and to punish people who violate their edicts.
Mohammad said that shaving of beards and men not wearing skullcaps are "practices of Jews and their followers" which the Taliban would not allow in Bajaur. People who listened to his radio broadcast described Mohammad's tone as "aggressive".