Forced marriage threat made to NGO women
MANSEHRA, May 5: Former Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal MNA from Kohistan Maulvi Abdul Haleem on Saturday warned women working in nongovernmental organisations against entering his district and said violators of the warning would be forcibly married off to locals.
“I issued a decree during Friday sermon that getting education for degrees by women is repugnant to Islamic injunctions because if a woman gets degree, she may use it for job, an act which Islam doesn’t allow in absence of mehram (close relatives),” he told reporters here.
Mr Haleem said: “If women working in NGOs enter Kohistan, we won’t spare them and solemnise their nikkah (marriage) with local men.”
Maulana Haleem, who remained MNA during the Musharraf regime, said if a woman got education and used it for job, then it was against the teachings of Islam.
“That’s why girls are not going to schools in Kohistan and girl schools are used as cattle pen,” he said.
The ex-MNA, who was once a mufti at Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, and also taught top clerics Maulana Samiul Haq, Maulana Anwarul Haq, Maulana Nizamuddin Shamazai, said he was not opposed to NGOs and would ensure complete protection of their male staffers in Kohistan.
He said if NGOs wanted to work for women’s development, they should spend money for the purpose through government departments.
“We won’t let them (NGOs) influence our women in the name of empowerment and financial support through women workers of NGOs,” said the ex-MNA, who remained the district chairman in Kohistan during the General Ziaul Haq regime.
He said he issued a decree in the past in favour of poppy cultivation and trade and continued to believe so.
“I also rose up against the unjustified slaughtering of animals by Jehanzeb Khan, the ruler of the formerly Swat state, at his birthday. Kohistan was part of the state of Swat at that time. Even he (ruler) put me behind the bars but I didn’t withdraw the decree,” he said.
The ex-MNA said killing of women in the name of honour was a ‘local custom and religious practice’ in Kohistan.
He said if someone witnessed female members of his family roaming with ghair mehram (other than close relatives), he could kill her without producing four witnesses,” he said.
Meanwhile, a man was killed and his father and two brothers critically wounded on Saturday when their rival tribesmen attacked their house in Palis area.
A dispute over the ownership of a water reservoir was blamed for the Narng Shahkhail attack on Badakhail tribesmen.
The dead included Azizur Rehman, while the injured were his father, Mohammad Asghar, and his brothers, Mohammad Essa and
Abdul Quddos, whose condition was stated be critical at a local hospital.
The Palis police lodged an FIR and began investigation.
Last year, four people were killed and three injured when Badakhail and Narng Shah-khail tribes exchanged heavy fire over the same dispute.