People under Taliban facing hardships

The Frontier Post, March 12,1998

PESHAWAR Although Taliban regime has closed down all the cinemas, television centres and other sources of entertainment in the areas under their control still the people have access to VCRs and dish antenna which are the only sources of entertainment and information at their houses. Some of the government officials who have recently come to meet their nears and dears in Peshawar told this scribe that there are still feelings of unrest in the capital Kabul. The newspapers and other printed periodicals are under strict censorship. The newspapers are being published without photographs. They added that these government officials who were related with television station, had to flee away on emergence of Taliban while some of them who stayed are accommodated in other departments. No female journalist could be seen in the Kabul city. The women who used to serve in the public sector with various departments, were stopped to work by Taliban. All the educational institutions have forbidden the girl students. They said that any female convicted for adultery is to face a punishment of 100 lashes in public at the Ghazi stadium. Also the hands of two thieves are chopped off under Islamic law. Last Friday in the Carthino area it happened when the thieves were charged for stealing 19.5 millions Afghanis during a burglary. One of the thief belonged to Kapisa and the other was hailing from Paktia.

The palace belonging to King Zahir Shah and Sardar Daud are handed over to the government officials. All the cinemas are locked and the one time famous cinema Zeenath, has been changed to a library. They said that the food commodities were now available in abundance.

A student who came from Jalalabad university said that Taliban are insulting the university students openly. There were eight hostels for the students but four of them were allocated to Taliban. He said that the name of the university was also changed from Bayazid Rokhan university to Nanghrhar Islamic University. There are about 1200 students with 60 or 70 of them from Pakistan. All the students are faced with multiple problems. Some of the students have no accommodation in the hostels and they are to share with Taliban in their posts. Taliban depute them for patrolling duties during the night for several house. Taliban considering the university students as communists and socialists. One of the students Naeem told that once Maulvi Hassan Jan came to the university and criticised the students of the university. He said that one bread cost us 3,500 afghanis and one egg costs 2,000 afghanis. The engineering students are study just the theory because laboratory apparatus for practicals is not available in the universities. The staff members are 360 in number and each of them is getting salary of Rs 500 per month, he remarked.

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