Taliban militants in northwest Buner district shaved the heads and moustaches of four Pakistani men as punishment for listening to music, according to one of the men.
Buner has been subject to huge US concern after hundreds of Taliban fighters advanced into the area from the neighbouring Swat, where the hardliners fought a brutal, nearly two-year insurgency to enforce Islamic law.
AdvertisementAlthough Taliban and local officials said the fighters retreated from Buner by Saturday, local members of the movement remain. Residents said many fighters were still present in the hilly outskirts of the district.
In one incident late Saturday, Taliban hardliners shaved the heads and moustaches of four men for listening to music, a young man from Buner told AFP by telephone, requesting not to be identified.
"I was with three other friends in my car, listening to music when armed Taliban stopped us and, after smashing cassettes and the cassette player, they shaved half our heads and moustaches," he said.
"The Taliban also beat us and asked us not to listen to music ever again," said the terrified man.
Local police said they had no information about the incident.
The victim said neither he nor his friends lodged a complaint with police, as this would have been "useless."
"It might have annoyed the Taliban further and I fear for my life," the man said.
Residents in Mingora, the main town in Swat, said Taliban posters had been put up in streets and markets ordering women not to go shopping. The posters had appeared after the Taliban's controversial agreement with the government to enforce Islamic law in the region.
"We will take action against women who go out shopping in the markets and any shopkeeper seen dealing with women shoppers will be dealt with severely," read the poster from the Swat branch of Tehreek-e-Taliban.
"The peace agreement does not mean that obscenity should be re-born," it added.
Hardline Islamists in the extremist Taliban consider it "obscene" for women to leave their homes, and ban females from venturing out in public without an immediate male relative - namely a father, brother, son or husband.
For years, Swat was a popular ski resort frequented by Westerners but the Pakistani government effectively lost control of the mountainous district after the violent Taliban campaign to enforce sharia law.