Pakistani town backs Taliban-type policing
Apr 05,2007 00:00 by UPI

ISLAMABAD - Police in a Pakistan town reportedly are supporting Taliban-style moral policing to ban dancing, theft, music and interest-based banking.

The Press Trust of India news agency reported Thursday the effort in Bannu in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province points to the growing influence of the Taliban in the area.

The report said the local police district confirmed the formation of a "peace committee," which police officials are supporting to eliminate the "evils like dancing, theft, music and interest-based banking."

One local official was quoted as saying, "Police support the committee on three grounds -- the committee members are unarmed Taliban, they don't violate the law and they have promised the administration that they will not shelter any foreign militant in the district."

The report said some hardliners also are passing out pamphlets saying if the orders are not observed, the public will "face punishment" including fines "for crimes unnoticed by police." Girls in government schools in the district also have started wearing full-body veils because of threats.

Bannu, with a population of more than 500,000, is about 150 miles south of Peshawar.

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