Taliban new dictum: Marry daughters to militants

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    Taliban

    On the heels of their crusade against girls going to schools, the Taliban have now issued new dictum in the areas under their sway asking parents of the grown up daughters to marry them to militants or 'face dire consequences'.

    This new force-marriage campaign is being run in most of the areas in the Pakistan's troubled NWFP through regular announcements made in mosques to congregations.

    Such instances have come to light recently through some of the affected women daring to go to authorities for justice rather than meekly surrender to the militants dictates.

    Salma, who teaches in a primary school in Peshawar, told the influential 'Dawn' newspaper that Taliban have told families to declare in mosques if they have unmarried girls so that their hand could be given in marriage, most probably to militants.

    If they did not do so, the girls would be forcibly married off; the newspaper quoted the 30-year-old widow as saying.

    She also said the Taliban in the Swat valley of NWFP have threatened women with dire punishment, if they are found outside their homes without identity cards and a male relative accompanying them.

    Couples should also carry 'Nikah Nama' or marriage certificates with them when they venture out of home or they will be in trouble, she said.

    "I have heard that Taliban have announced that if a girl above the age of seven is found outside her house, she would be slaughtered," Salma said.

    Once an avid listener of Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah's FM radio station, Salma doesn't tune in to the channel any more.

    "Usually there is only dreadful news on the radio, so I stopped listening to it," said Salma, who has three sons.

    Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for the fiery sermons he broadcasts on his illegal FM station, leads a campaign by Taliban militants to enforce Shariat or Islamic law in Swat.

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