Threats from anonymous callers: transporters stop playing TV, VCRs in buses
PESHAWAR (January 27 2009): Sarhd Transport Owners Federation (STOF) of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have banned playing of televisions and VCRs in the passenger buses plying on the routes of Peshawar-Lahore and far-flung districts of the province. Sarhad Transport Owners Federation (STOF), an association of the private transport bus owners has taken the decision after receiving threats from anonymous callers on their cellular phones.
In this connection, the federation has displayed a banner inscribed with the decision regarding ban on the use of television and VCR sets in their buses. The deadline for the removal of the television and VCR sets was January 25 (Sunday).
The banner carrying the name of M. Zahir Shah Yusafzai, president, Sarhad Transport Owners Federation also announces a cash fine of Rs 5000/- in case the owners fail to remove these electronic gadgets from their buses after the expiry of the deadline. In this regard when Business Recorder contacted a local transporter he confirmed that they had not only received verbal messages, but also through letters from unknown militant organisations for stoppage of playing of TV and VCRs in the buses.
However, Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service Limited, which also plays DVD/CD players in their buses had not received any such threats. “We are playing our television sets or DVD/CD players outside the jurisdiction of the province and had not received any threats so far,” told an official of the Daewoo Pakistan on condition of anonymity.
The previous provincial government of the religio-political alliance had also banned the use of television sets, VCRs and record players in the passenger buses in connection with its Islamisation drive. However, it went unheeded among the influential transporters, except the Daewoo Bus Services, which stopped playing music in DVD/CD players in the jurisdiction of the province.
This growing extremism and militancy against music related matters and even net-cafÃ©s had come to halt in different parts of the province due to the attacks and explosions in CD markets. Few days ago a net-cafÃ© in the busy Peshawar City was blown up while a number of people had been injured and killed in a bomb blast in front of a CD market two years back.
Source: Business Recorder