Swat police imposed ban on local artists and singers

The Cultural Journalists Forum (CJF) has condemned Swat police for imposing ban on cultural activities in Mingora, saying it will discourage artists and singers across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the forum said that on one hand the government was taking steps for revival of literary and cultural activities in the militancy-hit province but on the other hand Swat police imposed ban on local artists and singers, residing in the famous Banr Street.

“The artists of Swat, who have already suffered tremendous losses at the hands of militants, are once again subjected to mental torture while some of them have begun migrating to other areas,” it said.

The release said that minister for culture should issue a statement to explain the harsh attitude of Swat police with local artists.
The forum threatened to launch protest if government didn’t take notice of the ban imposed on singers of Banr Street by the Swat DPO.

“We will support any move by the authorities to punish those, who are involved in any immoral activity, but we will condemn any action being taken against the peaceful people associated with art and culture,” the release said.

It said that the forum would withdraw its support from the government in promoting literary and cultural activities if it failed to conduct proper investigation into the ban imposed on Swati artists and singers.

The release said that people were confused whether Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government changed its cultural policy overnight without taking stakeholders into confidence. “If this is not the case then why the officials at the helm of affairs do not come to the fore to explain the whole drama,” it questioned.

“We have been pushed back in a dark era once again as international media considers us philistines and intrinsically anti-art creatures,” it added. The release said that they were again in limelight for being a people without sense of art and culture.

“Singing has been the centuries-old art of people living in Banr Street. Why ban is imposed on art and culture in Swat without any solid reason,” the release questioned.

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