Pakistan: Fine for playing music in taxi, music shop attacked

3 March 2007
Having banned music in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the Taliban are now imposing a fine of 500 rupees for any one playing it in public, reports several news agencies

Taxi drivers complain that even possession of a CD player in their vehicles is enough to invite the 500 rupees punishment.

‘I was stopped by the Taliban at Sarband village near Bara, Khyber Agency, on 24 February. They searched my taxi and found some music cassettes, and then asked me to pay 500 rupees as a fine,’ the Daily Times quoted Khanimullah, a Peshawar-based taxi driver, as saying.

Another taxi driver, Ali Khan, recounted a similar experience at Sangu near the Khyber Agency border two weeks ago, when men claiming to be local Taliban fined him 500 rupees because he had a Pashto music cassette in his car.”They said music is a sin and prohibited in Islam,” said Khan.

New attacks on music shops

The Taliban have also intensified their attacks on shops and video stores selling music CDs and DVDs

On 27 February 2007, in Bannu in the North West Frontier Province, attackers came in broad daylight, destroyed a video shop and dumped the damaged CDs, DVDs and other material with impunity in front of the local police station.

Niaz Ali, the video centre’s owner, said that armed men attacked his shop at around 8:30 am and destroyed CD players, CDs and DVDs.


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