Pakistan festival dancers banned
By Nisar Khokar, Sindh
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BBC Urdu service, Larkana, Sindh
Leaders of a religious group in the south of Pakistan have banned women dancers from a traditional spring festival, officials say. Organisers of the festival in the province of Sindh say they have had to cut the 10-day festival to three days as a result of the threats. The clerics who asked the dancers to leave the area were accompanied by local police, witnesses said. The group, called the JUI-F, has its main support base in the north-west. But the JUI-F (Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazlur) has been spreading its wings in the south of the country as well. The JUI-F is led by cleric Maulana Fazlur Rahman, who is known for his close ties to the Taleban in Afghanistan. His is one of the most influential and resourceful organisations in Pakistan working for what is described as a “pure, Islamic state“.