Pakistan: Music banned in Pakistani province

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Pakistan:
Music banned in Pakistani Provence

In May 2006 a pro-Taliban militant cleric announced a ban on music and video shops in the Hamuzai area near Miramshah, residents said, according to Pakistan’s most widely circulated English language newspaper, Dawn

The residents said that announcement was made through loud speakers from mosques, asking men to grow beards and give up un-Islamic practices including listening to music and using narcotics.
“Violators will be punished according to Shariat”, the announcement said.

Music shop owners in the area have good reasons to be worried about the announcement. On 30 June 2005, ten shops mostly selling movie and music tapes were damaged in a bomb explosion in Miramshah. The blast took place in the Gharhay Mandi bazaar following a warning by tribal militants against the sale and purchase of VCRs, CDs and music tapes on the audio and video. Four of the shops were badly damaged.
Some of the shopkeepers had already heeded the militants’ warning and stopped selling music and movie tapes since this was the second explosion targeting the music shops last year. Another blast took place five days after an earlier threat by the Islamic militants and damaged nine shops.

The militants consider music un-Islamic and want an end to the business in the conservative areas of the North West Frontier Province.

Bloody clashes between militants and army

In March 2006, pro-Taliban militants took control of all the government buildings of Miramshah, the area’s telephone exchange and patrolled the streets of the tribal agency’s regional headquarters, in a show of power. Frightened shopkeepers in Miramshah downed shutters as hundreds of Taliban militants wielding machine guns entered the town on trucks, shouting “God is Great” and “Death to America and its friends”.

Maulvi Sadiq Noor is one of the most wanted among the militants. He has gone underground after the bloody clashes between the Pakistani army and the militants in Miramshah in March 2006 where around 140 militants were killed, and where security forces also demolished Noor’s school which had nearly 200 youth on its rolls.

On 1 May 2006, the bullet-riddled body of cleric Maulana Jannat Mir Khan was found near Miramshah in the North Waziristan on Monday, officials said, according to Dawn. Maulana is believed to have been killed for opposing to the ongoing military operation and activities of pro-Taliban elements in the North Waziristan.


Sources:

Dawn – 17 May 2006:
’18 militants killed in Waziristan’

Paki News – 7 March 2006:
‘Militant cleric’s school destroyed in Miramshah’

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