Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ashfaq Yusufzai, "Culture:Pakistan: Artistes caught in crossfire," IPS, January 15, 2009.

[Notwithstanding the strangeness of "artistes" as an exotic item of vocabulary, the targeted group appears to be actors, dancers, singers, film makers, journalists, and girls' schools. The concern that what was formerly seen as tribal violence has spread beyond the FATA and into urban areas is confirmed here. The army's activities also seem to be a mixed bag. -jlt]

PESHAWAR, Jan 15 (IPS) - Arson attacks and killings have shut down girls’ schools and brought a thriving entertainment industry to its knees in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

  The government is engaged in fierce military operations with Islamic fighters in Swat and the tribal areas....Journalists are not liked by the army or Taliban

On Monday, renowned Pashto comedian Alamzeb Mujahid was abducted in broad daylight from the upmarket Hayatabad Township here in NWFP’s capital city by suspected Taliban gunmen.

The famous Pashto actor, who has been associated with national Pakistan Television (PTV) for the last two decades, has a fan following among the majority Pashtuns or Pakhtoons in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan.

"He had just left his residence for office when three armed men bundled him into a truck and sped off," says Tariq Jamal, president of the Artistes’ Welfare Association Zoom (AWAZ).

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