Pak Taliban threatens violence against indigenous tribe

Last Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 02:26

Islamabad: A video issued by the Pakistani Taliban has surfaced in which they have threatened to unleash violence against an indigenous tribe and Ismaili Muslims in the northern Pakistan`s picturesque Chitral Valley.

Though the 52-minute clipping was uploaded on the Taliban`s website on January 28, it was not clear when the video was made.

Referring to the Chitral Valley, the video said former President General Pervez Musharraf was "dreaming to stand for elections from the area".

Chitral was one of the constituencies from where Musharraf wanted to contest in the May 2013 general elections.

The reference to Chitral is only a small part of the larger video.

The Valley is the northern-most district of the Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa province and situated in its Malakand division that was once dominated by moderate Ismailis.

According to Taliban, 70 per cent are Muslims while rest are Ismailis and Kalash tribe.

The video asked the Kalash tribe to convert to Islam.

The Taliban also criticised charitable work by the Aga Khan, the Ismailis` spiritual leader, saying "The Aga Khan Foundation is running 16 schools and 16 colleges and hostels where young men and women are given free education and brainwashed to keep them away from Islam".

The narrator in the video added that the foundation`s schools and hospitals, which are free for members of the public, are "espionage tools in the hands of foreign powers".
The video also accuses international NGOs of creating an "Israel-like state" in Chitral by attempting to protect the Kalash culture and take people away from Islam, and vowed to foil their plans.

In the video, the Kalash are also warned to stop producing wine, which they make from fruits like mulberries, apples and grapes.

The Kalash people reside in the Chitral district of the province and speak the Kalasha language, from the Dardic family of the Indo-Aryan branch.
They are considered a unique tribe among the Indo-Aryan peoples of Pakistan.

The valley was once dominated by moderate Ismailis and is home to the Kalash. Sunni Muslims are now in majority in the area after recent decades of migration.

The Kalash way of life has come under threat by militants.


First Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 02:26

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