Police in the village of Mattani, a suburb of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province capital Peshawar in northern Pakistan, have banned all music from wedding ceremonies, reported Pakistan’s Express Tribune on 13 March 2017.
A local villager told the newspaper that police are not only stopping events, raiding homes that host such banned events, and arresting and detaining participants, but are also insulting and beating them.
The villager claimed that on 11 March 2017 police raided a music event and arrested and detained all event participants.
“This (situation) has created widespread unrest among the local people. The entire area was in the grip of constant fear when Taliban held sway over the area … they (Taliban) had banned music as well as (ordered closure of all) music centres and CD houses … Taliban are now long gone, but now we suffer at the hands of police personnel who are enforcing the same rule applied by Taliban.”
The newspaper said a police official informed them that local police have imposed a ban on all musical functions.
Same ban last year in another village
In May 2016, local government officials in the village of Sheikhan, in the eastern province of Punjab, also banned music and dancing at weddings. A district government official deemed the celebrations and musical evenings for wedding to be “not healthy” social activities.
The official also said the ban was to “prevent any attack” from militants as the village neighbours an area known to harbour them.
A joint June 2016 report by Freemuse and Peshawar-based Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation explores the shaky ground that artistic and cultural life still stand on in the Swat Valley in KPK, even after the Taliban’s removal from the area over seven years ago.
» Read the full Freemuse and Pakhtunkhwa Cultural Foundation joint report here:
‘Study on effects of war and repression of musicians, performers and the public of Swat, Pakistan’
Photo: Kyber Pass/Wikicommons
» The Express Tribune – 13 March 2017
Police in Peshawar suburb bans music at marriage ceremonies
More from Freemuse
» 10 August 2016: Pakistan: Music returns to region amid scepticism
» 27 June 2016: Pakistan: The war on living arts in Swat