NEW DELHI: The Taliban in Afghanistan's Helmand province has imposed a ban on barbers from trimming beards and playing musing in their shops.
According to reports, the Taliban police has warned barbers and said that anyone who would be found violating the rule would be punished.
Barbers in the capital Kabul also received similar orders.
According to a media report officials from the Ministry of Islamic Orientation at a meeting with representatives of men's hairdressing salons in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, advised against stylish hair and shaving beards.
Rank-and-file Taliban fighters have been having too much fun in Kabul after seizing the Afghan capital without a fight last month, and the Taliban leadership has now issued a stern order to stop, The Wall Street Journal reported. Thousands of young Taliban men from all over the country, many of whom have never been to a big city before, were deployed in Kabul after the Afghan republic collapsed on August 15.
When not on duty, they sightsee, picnic and visit amusement parks, in a tangle of guns and turbans. Taliban fighters from elsewhere in Afghanistan have also come to gawk at Kabul on tourist trips, WSJ said. Top urban attractions for relaxing Taliban are Qargha lake, with its swan-shaped pedal boats, the Kabul zoo, and the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, where visitors stroll on a grassy hill overlooking the city.
"I used to infiltrate in, to gather intelligence or to shoot people we were targeting," said Shafiullah Masood, a 24-year-old from the province of Wardak, at the City Park amusement centrE with a gang of Taliban friends, waiting to go on the swinging pirate boat ride. "I'm happy that people are enjoying a peaceful life here now." The Taliban government's DefenCe Minister Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob, a son of the Islamist group's one-eyed founder Mullah Omar, wasn't amused. In a recent speech, he castigated the fighters for going sightseeing, hanging out in big groups, making aimless trips to markets and to the Kabul airport, or exploring government buildings, the report added. "Stick to the tasks you have been assigned," he said in an audio message released Thursday. "You are damaging our status, which has been created with the blood of our martyrs."