Updated: 02/12/2014 23:52 | By Agence France-Presse

Pakistani Taliban threaten non-Muslim tribe, Ismailis

The Pakistani Taliban have announced an "armed struggle" against an indigenous tribe and Ismaili Muslims in the picturesque northern Chitral Valley, calling on Sunnis to support their cause in a video.


Pakistani Taliban threaten non-Muslim tribe, Ismailis

This photo taken in January 2004 shows an old Pakistani man riding his donkey around Chitral, a city located near the border with Afghanistan - by Samuel Aranda

The valley was once dominated by moderate Ismailis and is also home to the Kalash, a polytheistic people who claim descent from Alexander the Great and who have maintained separate cultural traditions to the predominantly Muslim country.

But migration in recent decades has meant that Sunni Muslims are now the majority in the area, while the Kalash way of life has come under threat by the Taliban, who have also carried out a number of attacks against security forces in the area.

The Taliban's 50-minute long video released on February 2 on their media wing's website opens with a scenic view of the mountainous valley that is popular among domestic tourists and famed for its annual polo festival.

The narrator warns the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3,500, to convert to Islam or face death.

"By the grace of Allah, an increasing number of people from the Kalash tribe are embracing Islam and we want to make it clear to the Kalash tribe that they will be eliminated along with their protectors, the Western agents if they don't embrace Islam," he says.

The video also accuses international NGOs of creating an "Israel" like state in Chitral by attempting to protect the Kalash culture and take people away from Islam, and vows to foil their plans.

A charitable organisation headed by the Aga Khan, the Ismailis' spiritual leader and a globally renowned philanthropist, is singled out for condemnation.

"The Aga Khan Foundation is running 16 schools and 16 colleges and hostels where young men and women are given free education and brainwashed to keep them away from Islam," the narrator says.

He adds that the foundation's schools and hospitals, which are free for members of the public, are espionage tools in the hands of foreign powers. 

The Kalash are also warned to stop producing wine, which they make from apples, mulberries and grapes.

"Western NGOs are promoting Kalash wine and we warn all those individuals and hotels selling it, they should stop production and selling of wine otherwise they will be sent to hell by the will of God." 

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。