Women’s entry in Bajaur picnic spots banned – 16 Jul 2022

Taking women to picnic spots could not be allowed under the cover of tourism, says JUI-F Maulana Rashid

A Jirga of local elders of ultra-conservative Salarzai, Bajaur tribal district, banned the entry of women or couples in the picnic spots, terming it against the local traditions.

The Jirga was held under the supervision of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and was addressed by JUI-F district amir for Bajaur Maulana Abdur Rashid.

Maulana Rashid announced the decision agreed upon including ban on the entry of women in the hill stations calling it vulgar.

“We ask the authorities to end this practice as we will not take law into our own hand,” he said, adding that the decision has been made by all clans of Salarzai.

“Taking women to picnic spots could not be allowed under the cover of tourism,” he added, saying that if government failed to take any action in this regard then the Jirga would ban it.

The Jirga also demanded that local residents should be recruited in the various departments in the district and non-locals will not be accepted.

It may be mentioned here that despite merger of tribal districts with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), local elders often try to impose their own decisions which are considered against the constitution and law.

In February 2021, local elders of Tehsil Mamond in Bajaur banned the visit of womenfolk to the Citizen Facilitation Center (CFC) as well as their phone calls to local FM Radio stations.

It was announced that violators would be punished with Rs10,000 fine.

A grand Jirga of all the clans was held in Sewai Dam Johar of Mamond attended by the elders of Barozai, Orozai and Baramkazai clans in which several resolutions were passed.

The jirga banned visit of women to CFC Khalozai which is locally known as Sadai-e-Aman Program.

It is a one-window facility for computerized CNICs, birth certificates as well as registration of pregnant women and mothers who are then paid Rs2,500 stipend per month.

“If any woman went there to receive aid money her family will have to pay Rs10,000 fine,” a local elder warned.

All the women of the tehsil had also been banned from calling any FM Radio station program and a Rs10,000 fine had also been announced for the violators.

By the same token, local vendors (banjary) who travel from one place to other and sell goods had also been banned completely and the jirga also announced that an armed tribal militia will be raised by the elders if anyone was found involved in selling drugs in the tehsil.

Drug peddlers were given one week to end their business.

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