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Swat Valley returns to Dark Ages

Human Rights Watch has said the deal between the Pakistani Government and the Taliban, that enforces islamic Law in the Swat valley, “presents a grave threat to the rights of women and other basic rights in the troubled region.”


“The Taliban have imposed their authority in Swat and adjoining areas through summary executions – including beheadings – of state officials and political opponents, public whippings, and large-scale intimidation of the population. Girls’ schools have been shut down, women are not allowed to leave their homes unless escorted by male family members, polio immunization programs have been halted, and nongovernmental organizations have been expelled. Music and film have been banned and stores trading in them have been destroyed. All men have been required to grow beards.


“The government defends this ordinance by saying that the officials implementing the law are still appointed by the provincial government and that they will respect the rights of women and others,” said Hasan. “But the reality is that any official in Swat who does not follow the dictates of the Taliban may be signing his or her own death warrant.”


“The Taliban are “taking Swat back to the Dark Ages and the Pakistani government is now complicit in their horrific abuses,” Ali Dayan Hasan, a senior South Asia researcher for the New York-based group, said Wednesday.”

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