Taliban’s ban on music again
THE local Taliban’s disdain for music – or any form of recreation for that matter – was shown on Monday when they banned music in Zargari and other areas near Hangu in NWFP. They also went one step forward and banned the sale of narcotics which would be commendable if the self-proclaimed morality police had any authority to legislate. The coming together of “leaders” to form shooras which then pass edicts like banning music or fining violators Rs50,000 for disobeying them is not recognised by the government – yet it continues and causes difficulties for people.
It would be wrong to assume that everyone in the tribal areas adheres to rigid views like disallowing girls from going to school or prohibiting men from shaving their beards. The tragedy is that people do not have a choice but to follow the orders, as failure to do so can result in the Taliban unleashing their violence on the community.
This has been evident in the past few years during which the Taliban have gained ground in the tribal areas and have challenged the writ of the state, spreading terror along the way. They have blown up shops selling music and CDs and on more extreme levels, they have beheaded men on the suspicion of their being spies. They do not respect a person’s right to healthy recreation nor do they care where or how a music shop owner is supposed to earn money after his business is forcibly shut down.
This menace of the local Taliban becoming a law unto themselves has to be put to a stop. They must be challenged by authorities for they are in clear violation of the law. Any failure will have far-reaching consequences, especially for the people who live in these places where the Taliban “rule”. The government cannot afford to fail them by turning a blind eye to their miseries.