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Taliban threaten Kalash tribe, Ismaili Muslims

Taliban threaten Kalash  tribe, Ismaili Muslims
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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban have announced an “armed struggle” against an indigenous tribe and Ismailis in the picturesque northern Chitral Valley, calling on Sunnis to support their cause in a video. 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. 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, 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.

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