Another illegal radio channel goes on air in Landi Kotal
LANDI KOTAL, April 13: Another illegal FM radio station, established by a controversial cleric went on air in Landi Kotal on Saturday evening.
The initial half-an-hour broadcast was consisted of the translation of Quranic verses and Naath. The radio station established at a mosque adjacent to the Landi Kotal railway station is the first of its type in Landi Kotal, the tehsil headquarters of Khyber Agency.
The prayer leader at the railway station mosque Hazrat Nabi Mullah, alias Tamache Mullah told his audience in last Friday’s sermon that his radio would be purely used for Quranic teachings.
The firebrand Tamache Mullah earned fame few years ago when he publicly opposed administering of polio vaccine to children in Landi Kotal.
The controversial cleric, also a theology teacher at a local government high school, termed the polio vaccination un-Islamic and alleged that it was a conspiracy by the West to cut down growing Muslim population through such vaccines.
It was also for the first time that Hazrat Nabi Mullah invited the Lashkar-i-Islam amir Mangal Bagh to Landi Kotal last year much to the displeasure of majority of local tribal elders and religious scholars.
He is also known for his opposition to the MNA Allama Noorul Haq Qadri and his elder brother Senator Hafiz Abdul Malik on religious grounds.
A jirga of Shinwari elders held at Tehsil Jirga Hall on Sunday opposed the opening of the illegal FM station.
Sources privy to the jirga told Dawn that many participants of the jirga attributed the rise of Lashkar-i-Islam, a militant group in Bara, to the running of illegal FM radio by its self proclaimed leader Mangal Bagh.
The jirga through a resolution demanded of the local administration to immediately stop the transmission of the newly-established FM radio station in Landi Kotal as such radio stations had caused rifts among the several tribes living in Bara on religious grounds in the past.
The jirga apprehended that a Bara-like situation could also emerge in Landi Kotal if the radio station was not immediately closed down by the political authorities.
Rival religious groups used such FM stations for character assassination of each other which resulted in bloody clashes in Bara and Tirah valley. More then 200 persons from both the sides lost their lives in those clashes.
It was also learnt that the firebrand Tamache Mullah reprimanded in strong words a group of local residents who tried to persuade him to close down the radio station.