Pakistan: We want to defeat terrorism through music, says culture minister

NEWS

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Pakistan:
We want to defeat terrorism through music,
says culture minister

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Khyber Pakthunkhwa’s culture minister, told Inter Press Service in an interview that his government wants to reverse the policies of the former MMA government which banned musical concerts.

“We want to defeat terrorism through music and art,” the minister said – confident that the provincial government has broken the command and control system of the Taliban.

Recently the provincial government in Khyber Pakthunkhwa opened the 600-seat Nishtar Hall in Peshawar for cultural activities, and music fans defy the Taliban to attend music concerts there, reported Ashfaq Yusufzai for Inter Press Service, IPS, on 17 March 2012.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain wants to reverse the policies of the former MMA government which banned musical concerts and other cultural events, considering them to be un-Islamic. When the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) or United Council of Action – an alliance of religio-political parties – ruled the province from 2002 to 2008 with backing from the Taliban militia, cultural activities were unthinkable in Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

The militant groups in the area have long had Mian Iftikhar Hussain and his family on their target list. In July 2010 Hussain’s only son was killed while on an evening walk with a friend when unidentified gunmen opened fire on them.

“Taliban cannot come back”
IPS quoted Sher Dil Khan, who is president of the Khyber Pakthunkhwa CD Shops Association, as saying that with a new government ruling the province, attacks on CD shops have stopped.

Culture minister Hussain said that his government is providing security to the CD shops and singers so they can carry on their business fearlessly:

“We have broken the command and control system of the Taliban and they cannot come back. We hope that art and culture activities will increase in the days to come.”

IPS also interviewed a singer, Gulzar Alam, who fled to Karachi, and who is now signed up for back-to-back cultural programmes with other musicians in Khyber Pakthunkhwa.



Culture minister Mian Hussein



Pakistan


Read the article

Inter Press Service, IPS – 17 March 2012:

‘Taliban Face the Music in Pakistan’

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