Pakistan: Taliban kill dancer in Swat valley



Taliban kill dancer in Swat valley

Shabana, one of Pakistan’s celebrated dancers, was shot dead in Mingora on 2 January 2009 after defying the Taliban’s ban on music and dance.

Armed men reportedly dragged Shabana away from her home in Banr Bazaar, and she begged them to shoot her rather than slit her throat. Her body was found slumped on the ground in the centre of Mingora city’s Green Square, strewn with bank notes, CDs of her dance performances and pictures from her photo album.

According to an article by Dean Nelson and Emal Khan published by the UK-newspaper The Daily Telegraph on 11 January 2009, the Taliban commander Maulana Shah Dauran broadcasted a warning on one of its FM radio stations in the Swat valley: his men had killed Shabana and if any other girls were found performing in the city’s Banr Bazaar they would be killed “one by one”.

More than 1,000 women dancers and singers are reported to have fled the area. Some who remained told The Daily Telegraph’s reporters that Shabana had paid the price for publicly defying the Taliban’s radio mullahs and that she had ignored personal warnings to stop the performances and the training of young dancers in her home.

Mingora is the largest city in Swat Valley, the district headquarters and a busy commercial centre of the valley, just 160 kilometres from the country’s capital Islamabad.




The Daily Telegraph – 11 January 2009:

‘Taliban underlines its growing power with killing of ‘dancing girl’ in Pakistan’

Go to top
Related reading on