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Taliban style policing in Mansehra

A group called International Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Movement (IKNM) has reportedly distributed pamphlets across Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP), warning barber shop owners against styling customers’ beards in ‘un-Islamic’ designs. It has also been warned that the barber shop found violating the directive will be vacated on a 15-day notice.

Such little known groups have time and again emerged in various districts of KP, imposing their own version of Islam. Two shops in Mansehra are said to have already been shuttered on alleged violation of the IKNM orders, while another shop was attacked by a mob last month for violating the order. The constitutional authorities seem least interested in acting against these groups policing citizens’ behavior unlawfully.

The atrocities committed by Taliban in the districts of KP which they once unofficially ruled are still fresh in minds of the residents of these areas. While Pakistan fights terrorists who are responsible for killing countless citizens, it is also imperative to act against groups that have ideological similarities with the Taliban.

It is a question mark on the writ of the state when a group gets away with harassing people and ‘ordering’ them to follow its own rules. To gain success in the ongoing operation against terror, anything remotely related to Talibanisation should be nipped in the bud.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan claims his party’s government in KP has been able to solve the long-standing issues of the province. However, nothing is farther from the truth. The KP government has revised school textbooks, doled out taxpayers’ money to Taliban factories and are in electoral alliances with extremist groups.

The PTI chief does not seem to realise the importance of fighting the hateful mindset that has destroyed peace of the province in the past decade. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak should take notice of the Taliban-style policing happening in the province. The people of the province had given their mandate to the PTI. It is the responsibility of the PTI-led government to respect the mandate and ensure protection of citizens from extremist groups. Otherwise, Mr Khan’s critics will be proved right that his party is a sympathiser of the extremists.  courtesy editorial dailytimes.

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