|On January 21, 2006, suspected Islamic militants planted explosive material near a music shop in the center of the bazaar in Tanak district of North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan, Pakistani security officials have reported to Kuwait News Agency
A powerful explosion ripped through a bazaar of a remote Pakistani town, bordering Afghanistan, damaging several music and video shops and two internet cafes. Pakistani security officials reporting to Kuwait News Agency said the explosion did not cause any human loss as it occurred late in the night.
Explosions targeting music shops are frequently reported in the tribal belt, still influenced by Taliban-time ban on music and movies. Supporters of Taliban, few in numbers, also from time to time distribute pamphlets warning shopkeepers of stop playing music and movies or a stiff action would be taken against them.
The ‘North West Frontier Province’ is bordering Afghanistan and is among the poorest provinces of Pakistan. In 2003, Daily Times reported how police in the province locked up singers who were performing in public, arrested musicians for “loitering” and ordered others to conceal their instruments.
Since coming to power in Pakistan’s ‘North West Frontier Province’ in 2002, a powerful alliance of hardline Islamic parties named the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal has banned music in public transport in the province, barred government employees from attending music and dance functions, and burned TVs, videos, DVDs and other “immoral” material. They have also recently barred pictures of women on commercial billboards, and are presently stongly opposing that Indian Bollywood films should be allowed to be shown in Pakistan.
The professedly religious Islamist alliance considers music and dance “un-Islamic”.
Hotels are forbidden to hold concerts, soirees and fashion shows, and singers are reported to have uprooted and headed to more liberal cities like Lahore. However, despite the ban on playing music in public transport and places, many drivers listen to cassettes in their vehicles.
Pakistan: North West Frontier Province
India Daily – 24 January 2006:
‘Pak hardliners oppose Sohni Mahiwal’
Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) – 22 January 2006:
‘Explosion in Pakistani town destroys music shops, net cafes’
Daily Times – 10 July 2004:
‘MMA bars govt employees from attending music parties’
Common Dreams Newscenter – 22 April 2003:
‘Iraq War Propels Hate-US Songs to Top of Pakistani Charts’
Daily Times – 17 February 2003:
‘Music ban turns NWFP singers, dancers to prostitution?’