Pakistani Taliban threaten Kalash tribe, Ismailis in Chitral
The Pakistani Taliban have announced an “armed struggle” against an indigenous tribe and Ismaili Muslims in the picturesque northern Chitral Valley, calling on Sunnis to support their cause in a video.
The valley was once dominated by moderate Ismailis and is also home to the Kalash, a polytheistic people who claim descent from Alexander the Great and who have maintained separate cultural traditions to the predominantly Muslim country.
But migration in recent decades has meant that Sunni Muslims are now the majority in the area, while the Kalash way of life has come under threat by the Taliban, who have also carried out a number of attacks against security forces in the area.
The Taliban's 50-minute long video released on February 2 on their media wing's website opens with a scenic view of the mountainous valley that is popular among domestic tourists and famed for its annual polo festival.
The narrator warns the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3,500, to convert to Islam or face death.