PESHAWAR - The tribal elders and religious scholars in Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) have barred women from leaving their homes without male relatives. However, proper notification regarding the decision would be made public after the committee’s next meeting. The decision was made during the meeting of a local committee known as Gurguri Islahi Tanzeem on Tuesday. The committee led by Malak Nasrullah Khan, a local tribal elder, works for the welfare of society. According to Saleem Khan, a resident of tehsil Gurguri, the committee has taken a decision “to bar women from going out their homes without a mehram or a close relative like brother, husband or father.” He added that the committee also aims to curb drug business in the area. When contacted, Malak Nasrullah Khan told The Nation, “These matters have been discussed in our meeting; however, we will be further discussing the matter in our next meetings. After the formation of proper body we will make our decision public in the media”. Gurguri, a village and union council of Karak district, is known for natural gas and oil fields, It is dominated by Khattak tribesmen. Karak district is one of the districts in Pakistan with a high literacy rate. Last year in 2013 during the month of Ramazan, another committee had also banned women from going to bazaars saying that they were a source of ‘vulgarity’ and ‘spoil’ men’s fasting. However, it was merely an announcement and no action was taken over it. Some conservative Pashtoon say that women should remain inside the boundary walls of their homes and they quote an old Pashto saying “Khazi ka koor day ya Goor” (For a woman, there are two suitable places, either home or the grave). However, according to Professor Abseen Yousafzai, dean of faculty and professor of Pashto at Islamia College University Peshawar, there is no instance in Pashtun culture of barring women from going out without a male. “The western culture has influenced our young ones to such an extent that they have become a threat to females who are outside their homes, and I think that it might be one of the reasons that the females have been barred from going out. But I don’t agree with the decision of barring women from going out the home, and it is not the solution. The males who are a threat to females should be punished,” he said. PTI MPA Dina Naz said, “We are investigating the case. The government of PTI will never allow someone to usurp the rights of females. Last year another such case was reported in Karak but it was solved after holding talks with the local elders”.