PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban on Thursday warned women in Pakistan's northwest of "consequences" and meeting their "ultimate fate" if they took up jobs with the government or non-governmental organizations.
The Pakistani Taliban are an umbrella of militant groups called the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is banned by the Pakistani government and designated a terrorist group by the US. They are a separate entity from the Afghan Taliban.
In February this year, militants shot dead four female aid workers near Mir Ali, a main town in North Waziristan.
“Women are strictly warned not to undertake jobs at any government body or its stooges (NGOs) on the soil of (North) Waziristan, otherwise everyone knows its consequences,” TTP's spokesperson for North Waziristan, Abdul Rehman, said in a statement.
"Females from the adjacent Bannu or other districts continue to work with government or NGOs presumably for public welfare, but they are causing obscenity despite repeated warnings," Rehman said, adding that the women were "under our observation" and "will meet their ultimate fate soon."
TTP has been in disarray in recent years, after Pakistan military operations and US drone strikes targeting their hideouts in North and South Waziristan, but in August announced a reunion with some of its splinters. The group has since stepped up attacks on government troops and installations in tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, rising concerns that the militants are regrouping there.
The war-torn tribal belt remains one of the most underdeveloped areas of Pakistan.
Senior analyst Rustam Shah Mohmand said the TTP was trying to regain grip over the region and building pressure with threats.
"The TTP is now disorganized, desperate and wants to restore its standing," he said. "But people aren’t ready to accept them."