SHARANA (Pajhwok) – The Taliban have warned school students of fining them up to 500,000 Pakistani rupees for shaving beard, wearing tie or establishing contact with government officials, residents of Gayan district of southeastern Paktika province claimed on Monday.
One of the residents, who declined to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban invited students to a gathering and warned them of cash penalty amounting to Rs500,000 if they wore tie, shaved beard or held contact with government.
“The Taliban take 500,000 rupees from each student and ask other individuals to guarantee the new rules set by the group are honored,” he said.
A tribal elder Surat Khan confirmed the Taliban had set new rules for residents who were under immense pressures.
“The economic condition of the people is not good in Gayan district, how they can give the Taliban the mammoth amount of 500,000 rupees,” he said.
The elder asked the government to take immediate action and protect the residents from Taliban’s atrocities.
Yaqub Khan Mansour, a cultural society head, said he was aware of the issue in Gayan. He said students were neutral in the conflict and the Taliban instead of resolving their issues should not create more problems for them.
Abdul Malik, a teacher in the district, said the Taliban distributed a ‘permission note’ to allow a student to study in school against 500,000 rupees or a guarantee on his part.
Pajhwok obtained a copy of the note that reads ‘without this permission note, registration with the Islamic Emirates is not allowed.’
The note is issued by the education commission of the ‘Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan the name the Taliban used for their government when they ruled Afghanistan, Paktika province, Gayan education department.
The note with one year duration says ‘in case of any problem, education in-charge Maulana Maula Khan Rohani should be contacted.’
When Rohani was contacted, he said they issued the notice in compliance with orders from the Taliban Education Commission.
Paktika police chief Col. Dadullah acknowledged the development and said the Taliban wanted to pressurise the people. He said efforts were on to stop the Taliban from such activities.
Taliban spokesman rejected the Gayan story and said no one had been threatened or asked for money. He said no one wore tie in Gayan and such reports were part of the anti-Mujahideen propaganda.