Taliban' emerge in Muzaffargarh: Threats to Internet, cable and music shops -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Taliban’ emerge in Muzaffargarh: Threats to Internet, cable and music shops

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MUZAFFARGARH, July 30: Internet café, TV cable service and music and CD shops owners in Muzaffargarh have received threatening letters and emails from some ‘Taliban Tehrik Muzaffargarh’ who have warned them to close down their “un-Islamic and immoral” businesses within 15 days or face death.

In Kot Addu, Taliban warned those women who do not wear burqa or veil, their face will be defaced with acid. Women have been given a five-day warning to “mend their ways or be ready to be defaced”.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (city) Saif Khattak told Dawn that on July 18, all internet clubs and music centres, which are not more than three dozen in the city, received emails and letters, which warned them to shut down their “un-Islamic and immoral business” as “such things make society immoral”. The letters and emails warned them that if they did not follow the orders in 15 days, they should be ready to face the consequences.

The next day, some café owners and music and cable centre operators contacted the police and informed them about the threats. All the owners were so frightened that they were not ready to become complainant in the case. However, Muhammad Umer got ready to be complainant in the case, which the city police registered against unidentified people under sections of 16 Maintenance of the Public Order, 506, 11 W and 11 E of the Pakistan Penal Code. After the incident, internet cafe and music centres restricted their business till sunset besides taking other security measures.

The situation worsened on July 29 when such threatening emails and letters emerged in Kot Addu on 29. All internet café, TV cable and music shops owners received threatening emails and letters. The mails and letters carry a message of Khalid Mehsud, the chief of local Taliban, giving 15 days to shut “immoral and un-Islamic businesses” and adopt some Islamic business. The letters and emails also warned that all women and girls should wear veil otherwise acid would be thrown on their faces.

The warnings spread in the city like a fire in the jungle and now a large number of women have stopped visiting bazaars.

One shopkeeper, who introduced him as Bobby, told Dawn that he had closed down his music and CD shop in the main bazaar of Kot Addu. “No business is precious than life,” said Bobby in a frightened tone.

Kot Addu Station House Officer Irfan Khosa said police were investigating the matter. He said according to his investigation no one named Khalid Mehsud was a resident of Kot Addu.

A police official said they had made a list of 34 suspicious people, all from a banned outfit, and they might be involved in the threats.

Muzaffargarh and Kot Addu had been notorious for sectarian killings in the 90s.
Source: Dawn

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