Hardline lawmakers in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province have pushed through a law that aims to ensure "Islamic correctness" in public places and establishes a morality police to enforce decent behavior.
A six-party coalition of religious-based parties, the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, dominates the provincial assembly, so the bill was easily passed Thursday by a vote of 68-34. The provincial governor must still sign the bill before it becomes law, a step seen only as a formality.
The proposed law calls for setting up a "religious police force" to make sure people adhere to Islamic values in public places, and entertainment outlets close during weekly Friday prayers. Violators could be jailed for up to six months.
The opposition has denounced the measure, comparing it to the draconian rule of the former Taleban in neighboring Afghanistan.