Taliban shuts down Internet cafes in NWFP

January 1st, 2008 - 7:42 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Jan 1 (ANI): The NWFP province in Pakistan is witnessing the growing influence of Taliban with cyber cafe owners receiving threatening letters from anonymous persons asking them to close their shops.
Recent incidents of bombings of some video and CD shops in the area show the growing dominance of the Islamic fundamentalist here, as they consider listening music as un-Islamic.
The diktat has affected hundreds of students here who are keen to learn about the Internet and using the World Wide Web to further their careers. The local Taliban has demanded closure of cafe and Internet training institute alleging that students are using it for voyeuristic purposes.
A week ago, owners of Internet coaching institutes in Katlang Bazaar, some 17 kilometres north of Mardan city, had to close their centres after they received warnings.
“We train school and college students on using Internet for educational purposes and not for obscenity,” Ali Ahmad, owner of one such coaching centre, said.
He said that the letters written by anonymous persons which they received states: “You are spreading vulgarity among the students, who view obscene movies and websites at your centres.”
The shopping plaza owners have now displayed big banners on cyber cafes and Internet coaching centres saying, “Net cafes and Internet training institutes no longer exist in the plaza.”
“The shopping plaza owner closed down my net cafe after receiving a threatening letter from unnamed local Taliban,” The Daily Times quoted Jehanzeb Khan, owner of a net cafe in Katlang Bazaar, as saying.
“I tried to convince the plaza owner that the Taliban would not bomb his plaza, but he refused to heed my request and closed my net cafe,” he added.
However, the owner of the shopping plaza defends his decision saying: “My plaza would have been bombed had I not closed the net cafe”
“In the letter, they have asked me to close the net cafe and stop its owner from doing an ‘un-Islamic and vulgar business’, Shop Plaza owner Ashiq Hussain added.
He said that the modus operandi of the Taliban involves issuing first a threatening letter, and then bombing the shop or market. (ANI)

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