Kabul rulers step back

Kabul rulers step back


It wasn’t so long ago that the media were decrying the oppression of the Afghani people, and especially women, by the Taliban. Then, of course, came the “great victory” in that country, and a new puppet regime was installed.

Now Reuters News Service reports authorities in the capital of Kabul have banned Indian movies from state-run television and also barred female vocals from being played on the radio.

Observers say the move is symptomatic of a continuing struggle between the moderates and the Islamists in that country.

Engineer Mohammad Ishaq, who heads Kabul TV and radio, made the decision with no previous warning, according to one official.

Ishaq is a member of the Northern Alliance, which comprises the majority of President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Afghans were enjoying new freedoms this year after five years under the strict Islamic sharia law imposed by the Taliban. Public music and television had been banned.

Indian films offer melodrama, romance, music and staged fights and have become immensely popular. Restaurants across Afghanistan show them in a bid to attract more customers.

In Kandahar, the former stronghold of the Taliban, Indian films and images of women singing are shown regularly on television. They also appear on TV in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Ishaq succeeded Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, who protesters charged was trying to foster Western values on Kabul radio and television.

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