Pakistan’s Taliban has ordered girls’ schools to close by Jan. 15 in the Swat region. Buildings will be blown up and schoolgirls attack if the ban is defied, the fundamentalists warned in mosque speeches and radio broadcasts.
“Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society,” Shah Dauran, leader of a group that has established control over a large part of Swat district in the North West Frontier Province, declared this week.
Some closed schools have been turned into madrassas, where boys memorize the Koran.
The militants have also prohibited immunisation for children against polio – claiming that the UN-sponsored vaccination drive is aimed at causing sexual impotence – causing a sharp rise in cases of the disease.
Islamic militants have been fighting government forces in the region. As Pakistan moves more troops to the Indian border, the pressure may ease on the Islamic militants.