The Taliban have also warned people against shaving their beards. Here a barber stands by a 'do not shave' warning written by militants in the front window of his shop in Buner—AFP

PESHAWAR Taliban militants in Buner district shaved the heads and moustaches of four Pakistani men as punishment for listening to music, one of the men said Sunday.

Although Taliban and local officials said the fighters retreated from Buner by Saturday, local members of the movement remain. Residents said many fighters were still present in the hilly outskirts of the district.

In one incident late Saturday, Taliban hardliners shaved the heads and moustaches of four men for listening to music, a young man from Buner told AFP by telephone, requesting not to be identified.

'I was with three other friends in my car, listening to music when armed Taliban stopped us and, after smashing cassettes and the cassette player, they shaved half our heads and moustaches,' he said.

'The Taliban also beat us and asked us not to listen to music ever again,' said the terrified man.

Local police said they had no information about the incident.

The victim said neither he nor his friends lodged a complaint with police, as this would have been 'useless.'

'It might have annoyed the Taliban further and I fear for my life,' the man said.

Residents in Mingora, the main town in Swat, said Taliban posters had been put up in streets and markets ordering women not to go shopping. The posters had appeared after the Taliban's controversial agreement with the government to enforce Islamic law in the region.

'We will take action against women who go out shopping in the markets and any shopkeeper seen dealing with women shoppers will be dealt with severely,' read the poster from the Swat branch of Tehrik-i-Taliban.

'The peace agreement does not mean that obscenity should be re-born,' it added.

Extremist Taliban consider it 'obscene' for women to leave their homes, and ban females from venturing out in public without an immediate male relative — namely a father, brother, son or husband.

For years, Swat was a popular ski resort frequented by Westerners but the Pakistani government effectively lost control of the mountainous district after the violent Taliban campaign to enforce Sharia law.

Opinion

Editorial

Who should vote?
06 Dec 2021

Who should vote?

Logistical issues regarding transparency in the casting of votes also require detailed deliberations.
06 Dec 2021

Weak fundamentals

LAST week, Pakistan’s finance chief Shaukat Tarin sought to reassure the markets and people that our economic...
06 Dec 2021

Winter sports potential

FOR a country blessed with three of the world’s most famous mountain ranges, Pakistan has produced precious few...
Horror in Sialkot
Updated 05 Dec 2021

Horror in Sialkot

All it takes now is an allegation of blasphemy and an individual or two to incite a mob to commit murder.
05 Dec 2021

Iran deadlock

EFFORTS to revive the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna appear to be deadlocked, and...
05 Dec 2021

Reality of AIDS

AS World AIDS Day was marked on Dec 1, it came as a sobering reminder of how newer, major health hazards — the...