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29 February 2024

Pakistan official promises girls in Swat Valley access to schools, but with strict veil rules

A senior government official says girls in Pakistan’s unstable Swat Valley can attend school but must veil their hair and faces.

Provincial chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti also said Monday the government would do its best to install religious judges by mid-March as demanded by a hardline cleric mediating controversial peace talks with the Taliban.

Taliban fighters in Swat have destroyed scores of girls’ schools in fighting that stretches back more than a year.

Meanwhile, police say a suicide bomber attacked a girls’ religious school in southwest Pakistan Monday while a local Islamist party leader was visiting

Four people were killed and seven hurt, although his party officials say Maulana Khan Muhammad Sherani escaped unharmed.