Pakistan: Intensified campaign against music



Intensified campaign against music

Attacks on music shops. Music players in cars destoyed. Ban on the sale of CDs and cassettes. Religious militants’ violent attacks on property belonging to people who sell, play or listen to music are intensified in north-western Pakistan, reports the news agencies

Within one week 20 music shops are reported to have been destroyed in bomb blasts in Peshawar, and the news agency Reuters reported that suspected pro-Taliban militants had attacked music shops with crude homemade explosive devices early on 4 May 2007, destroying at least seven music shops but causing no casualties in two markets in the town of Charsadda, in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.

In the north-western Waziristan region the Pakistani press reported that a council (Shura) of tribal militants close to the Taliban imposed a ban on the sale of CDs and cassettes on 7 May 2007, as well as playing music in public transport.

Bombs in Charsadda

The first explosion in Charsadda occurred at the Ayaz Market in the Charsadda Old Bazaar at about 1:30 a.m. (local time), destroying four CD shops and a bicycle shop. A few hours later, a second blast took place in the Wawa Khan Market in Tangi Tehsil, destroying three CD shops and a hair-cutting salon. The police said they had foiled a third blast at Koroona Station.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, but letters from local Taliban militants had warned music stores against continuing their business. Music shop owners had been told to wind up their businesses by 27 April or “face the consequences.”

Cars stopped

On 6 May 2007 the news agency Dawn reported that 250 Islamist extremists wearing masks and carrying guns went on a rampage of censorship in the Bajaur area of Pakistan. They removed and destroyed mobile telephones, tape recorders, audio cassettes, CDs and CD players from cars stopped at the checkpoints which they had set up in Baddi Saya, Kamar Ser, Umari and Tani areas of Mamond Tehsil.

In Inayat Kali, a group of men carrying automatic assault rifles shut down music stores and warned the stores’ owners not to reopen, the report said.

A liberal political party, ANP, has demanded of the government to arrest the culprits responsible for the blasts.

Orders are followed

Music and video shops in Waziristan’s regional capital of Miran Shah were also told to wind up their businesses immediately. Armed islamists raided music centres and CD shops in the town and asked the shopkeepers to stop playing music. People were told not to play or listen to music in public places, including the bazaar.

Passenger vehicles on the Miran Shah-Mirali road were stopped and removed cassette and CD players, and the passengers were asked to remove musical ring tones from their cell phones.

According to residents in Bajaur, car-owners and drivers of public transport vehicles have now removed cassette and CD players from their vehicles, and owners of music shops in Khar town, Inayat Kallay Bazaar, Siddiqabad, Nawagai, Raghgan, Lagharai, Loi Sam, Pashat and other areas have closed their businesses and instead opened vegetable shops and general stores.

North West Frontier Province


IFEX – 7 May 2007:

‘Homemade bombs damage music and video shops following Taliban warning’

United Press International – 6 May 2007:

‘Extremists harass villagers in Pakistan’

Google News – continuously updated:

Search ‘Taliban’ + ‘music’

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