(ANS) – An Islamic government in a Pakistani province bordering Afghanistan has just passed legislation enforcing strict adherence to Islamic teachings. The regional legislature in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), dominated by the ruling alliance of six religious parties, passed the controversial Hasba Act by 68-34. Islamist MPs shouted Allah-o-Akbar (God is greatest), when the result of the vote was announced amid opposition uproar. Dubbed by the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) as an attempt to bring Taliban-style law to the region, the law has been compared to the Taliban regime’s notorious Dept. of Vice and Virtue in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban was backed by Pakistan , and many of its members trained in the northwest’s religious schools. Under the new law, an Islamic watchdog will monitor the observance of Islamic values in public places. Under the new law, according to APMA, the main duty of the cleric, called mohtasib – one who holds others accountable – will be to ensure people respect the call to prayers, pray on time and not do any business during Friday prayers. A news release from APMA predicted that the bill will be used by Islamic extremists to both persecute and torture Christians and other minorities.