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FATA tribesmen enticed by the allure of social media

Though this article principally addresses questions about social media, a comment regarding dance videos as justification for a 2012 ban on mobile phones and social media highlights some of the social challenges and perspectives surrounding dance in Afghanistan. Be sure to navigate to the full article via the "Read more" link at the end for more information and context.

DI KHAN: Social media has truly taken the world’s nooks and crannies by storm. It’s not only drowning in a deluge of information but also impacting the way we receive and share all kinds of news. Interestingly, social media is also becoming immensely popular in the regions that are still caught up in a time warp, such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) of Pakistan...

...In 2012, the Mullah Nazir-led faction of Taliban publicly set ablaze hundreds of mobilephone sets having cameras and memory cards. They made announcements through loudspeakers in local mosque and distributed handbills in the region, warning tribesmen against the use of such cellular phones because they believed it was against the sharia and local traditions.

They justified the ban, citing dance videos and songs shared through mobilephones. But things have changed radically. Wana is now gripped by the social media fever. In the main marketplace, Wana Bazaar, shops selling mobilephone accessories, are always abuzz with customers. And most of them either come here to get video songs and movie clips downloaded on their sets. Turkish soaps, with Pashto dubbing, are becoming increasingly popular. The allure is such that even Taliban fighters are finding it difficult to resist...


Image: Pakistani tribesmen participate in traditional dance, after a tribal jirga or meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan, Saturday, March 20, 2010. Hundreds of tribesmen from the semiautonomous regions near the Afghan border ended a rare tribal council meeting Saturday with a declaration saying that democracy is the only way to fight terrorism. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad). Accessed via

#dance #pakistan #news

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