The agreement that opened the door to the introduction of Qur‘anic law in the area also requires that local Taliban militias, the Tehreek-i-Nafaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi, rein in violence in the Swat Valley.
Religious minorities, including Christians, and human rights groups are very concerned about the government’s decision which effectively places the whole region in the hands of militias.
Women, who are already victims of discrimination and exclusion in society, will be the first to suffer from the application of Sharia.
Girls and young women are likely to lose the right to go to schools. Since the start of the year many have been targeted by armed groups.
Since the start of the Taliban military campaign in 2007 168 schools have been attacked, including 104 girls’ schools. An additional 400 private schools could also be shut down.
Altogether some 80,000 female students could have their education put at risk whilst about 8,000 female teachers could lose their job.