Islamabad: Officials in Pakistan`s northwest tribal region have refuted media reports that said women have been banned from going out for shopping alone during the holy month of Ramadan.
A report appearing in a section of the press said women in Serai Naurang area of Lakki Marwat district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will have to be accompanied by a male relative.
Iftikhar Hussain, Provincial Minister for Information and Culture, told the News International daily that "some elements were trying to tarnish the image of the provincial government".
He said Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanaullah Khan, who had chaired a meeting regarding the issue, has also denied having banned women from going out shopping alone.
"It was not a decision but just an idea to control the rush in the market if women were asked to reduce their visits to the market," the minister said.
Umar Riaz, a senior police officer in Lakki Marwat district, said explanation has been sought in this regard from Sanaullah Khan, and if found to be true he may be suspended.
Riaz told Geo News that a meeting on law and order was attended by tribal elders of the area and traders. The elders had demanded the ban, but police refused to accede.
Following the meeting, some participants allegedly spread the rumour about the ban, he said.