Grow beards or face ostracism: Taliban
Taliban leader said no doctor would treat shaven patients who would also not be allowed to travel in public transport.india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 19:06 IST
Amid reports that Taliban militants have been consolidating their hold in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, a Taliban cleric has reportedly ordered all men in the semi-tribal Jandola region to grow beard within three weeks or face punishment.
In a declaration made at a gathering of Bhittani tribal elders in Jandola Bazaar, Maulana Asmatullah, the so-called amir (leader) of the Taliban, said no cleric would either solemnise the marriage or lead funeral prayers of those who did not grow beard within the stipulated time.
"Every adult will grow beard within three weeks," he was quoted as saying by the daily Dawn.
The Taliban leader said no doctor would treat shaven patients who would also not be allowed to travel in public transport.
Jandola is a semi-tribal area and acts as a buffer zone between the South Waziristan tribal region where foreign militants have been active and Tank district of NWFP.
The Taliban has also warned of enforcement of zakat (religious tax) and said severe punishment would be awarded in case of non-compliance.