Rainbow Centre receives warning letters again -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Rainbow Centre receives warning letters again

KARACHI: For the fifth time, the shopkeepers and management of Rainbow Centre, have received pamphlets and unidentified phone calls to shut shop of lose their lives. Rainbow Centre is a major market for films and music of all shades and colours.

One leaflet was signed off by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It warned shopkeepers to close their shops or they would be kidnapped and their shops would be destroyed, Daily Times learnt on Monday.

Recently, three letters in an envelope were thrown by some unidentified men into a shop. The letters informed the shopkeepers that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has warned them to end their business of “obscenity” as it was “corrupting” young Muslim people. “Pakistan was created in the name of Islam but now wine shops and prostitution dens are common,” it said. “Instead of preventing such kind of activities, the government is supporting and promoting obscenity. It is the obligation of all Muslims to stop them.”

The second last time letters were received they were signed off by the local Taliban Imarat-e-Islami Pakistan on Nov 29, 2007 and the rest of the letters were unnamed although the first one was signed off as Fateh on July, 7, 2007. This time no deadline was given.

“We have informed all the relevant departments and closed-circuit cameras have been installed,” said the chairman of the All Pakistan Video Association, Salim Memon, while talking to Daily Times. They also met the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sultan Sallahuddin Babar Khattak, Karachi police chief Wasim Ahmed, Saddar Town SP Amir Sheikh, who assured of one police mobile unit.

In replied to a question, Memon said that they felt the letters had been received at a very different time “because the Taliban are active across the country and in Karachi”. “Now we are at risk,” said Memon. “But we do not have any choice other than to run our business.”

The letters have spread panic in the ground floor shops and the flats above. “We accept that we are afraid, but we also know that we will die when our time comes,” mused one shopkeeper who did not want to be named. “If we had the choice to do any other business wouldn’t we?” No official was available for immediate comment.
Source: Daily Times
Date:8/26/2008