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25 January 2009

Radio Spreads Taliban’s Terror in Pakistani Region

Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Pir Zubair Shah, New York Times

Every night around 8 o’clock, the terrified residents of Swat, a lush and picturesque valley a hundred miles from three of Pakistan’s most important cities, crowd around their radios. They know that failure to listen and learn might lead to a lashing - or a beheading.

Using a portable radio transmitter, a local Taliban leader, Shah Doran, on most nights outlines newly proscribed “un-Islamic” activities in Swat, like selling DVDs, watching cable television, singing and dancing, criticizing the Taliban, shaving beards and allowing s to attend school. He also reveals names of people the Taliban have recently killed for violating their decrees - and those they plan to kill.

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