A screen grab taken from a video released on September 11 shows Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.
— File Photo

MIRAMSHAH: Irritated by blockade of main artery of Miramshah in North Waziristan, the local Taliban Shura issued a ‘decree’ on Monday barring boys and girls from going to schools near the Cantonment area until security forces removed the barricades.

The Hafiz Gul Bahadur-led Shura warned parents not to send their children to five education institutions near the Cantonment area in Miramshah.

“Boys and girls will not go to these educational institutions until the road is opened for general public. If any boy or girl violates the decision of the Shura then he/she will be responsible for the consequences,” said a statement issued by the Shura.

Security forces permanently blocked the road because of security concerns after a suicide attack on Esha checkpost on March 24 which killed 24 soldiers and injured 40. Security has been tightened in the area since then. Regular imposition of curfew in the areas along the main road has badly affected social and economic activities in the volatile tribal agency.

The statement said the road blockade was causing huge inconvenience to the people and had forced hundreds of girls to pass through main streets and markets. “The movement of young girls and women through streets is against the teachings of Islam and local traditions. Therefore the Shura and the tribal people cannot tolerate it.”

The warning has put the future of hundreds of boys and girls at stake.

The garrison area boasts three semi-government English medium schools for boys, one high school for girls and one degree college for girls which has an enrolment of more than 400.

The educational institutions are already in tatters in Waziristan and other parts of the tribal region because of militancy and violence.

The statement said that Mujahideen (Taliban) had signed a peace deal with the government “for the glory of religion and to protect dignity of the local people”. It said the Shura had never put a ban on education in the area but they (Taliban) could not tolerate anything which negated tribal values and traditions.