Pak cleric warns against sending women to Kohistan

Maulana Abdul Haleem has warned NGOs that any woman staff sent to work in the Kohistan region will be married to local men.

Islamabad: A cleric in northwest Pakistan has warned non-governmental organisations that any woman staff sent to work in the Kohistan region will be married to local men, a media report said on Sunday.

Maulana Abdul Haleem, a former member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, issued the warning in his sermon during Friday prayers at the central mosque at Kamila in Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

"The people of Kohistan cannot be influenced by women and NGOs should stop the practice of sending women to Kohistan with immediate effect or get ready for the consequences," he was quoted as saying by The News daily.

He claimed the "secular" education of women was against Islamic injunctions.

He said an educated woman seeks a job, which he claimed Islam does not "allow in any way".

The cleric further warned the Education Department to shut girls` schools in Kohistan, saying these institutions "had been turned into cattle pens while the teachers were getting salaries without performing their duty".

Haleem, who was a teacher of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Sami-ul-Haq in the past, said NGOs that wanted to work for the women of Kohistan should come through proper channels and use government departments.

He claimed he was not against NGOs.

The people of Kohistan will provide shelter and protection to male staff of NGOs working in the district, he said.


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