Taliban have also threatened ‘serious consequences’ for any IDPs who return to their hometowns.
The Pakistani Taliban, who killed 150 people, including 134 children, during an attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December, have reportedly warned the residents of Khyber Agency of “serious consequences” if they send their children to government schools.
“Last night, militants distributed pamphlets in the Sheen Darra area of Bara tehsil warning local tribesmen about their intentions,” said Munsif Afridi, a member of a local anti-Taliban lashkar. “The pamphlet had three clauses: (i) No one should send their son or daughter to a government school and no schoolteacher should continue working in such institutions. (ii) Internally displaced families should resist returning to their hometowns. (iii) IDPs should refuse any compensation or aid packages from the government to alleviate their losses.”
Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa, spokesman for Pakistan’s armed forces, said in a press conference last month that the government would begin repatriating IDPs from Feb. 1. He also claimed that the military had cleared the terrorists out of a majority of the tribal areas.
Afridi said the pamphlet ended with a warning for anyone who refused to adhere to its demands. “Anyone who fails to follow these directives shall be held responsible and will face serious consequences,” he added.
The Pakistani Taliban often distribute threatening pamphlets in the tribal areas, with previous messages warning of “severe consequences” if locals allowed polio vaccinations or adhered to government directions.
Sangeen Afridi, another local tribesman, told Newsweek that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan usually issued pamphlets when they were trying to warn someone specific. “It usually means they have some information about a local favoring the Pakistan Army or the government and they want to punish them,” he said. “After every warning, we usually see a body or two with a message threatening similar action against anyone who favors the government,” he added.