MINGORA, Swat—If there is any question what Pakistan would look like if the Taliban are allowed to control the entire country, look no farther than the Swat Valley, where the Sharia-toting totalitarians were on a porn-purging rampage before being driven back by government forces.
Over the past two years, reports IslamOnline.net, “Hundreds of CD and video shops in the troubled valley of Swat and southern districts of the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) have been blown up by Taliban … especially a few months before security forces launched a massive operation in Swat in May.” Scores of people are reported to have lost their lives during these attacks.
Unfortunately for those who enjoy watching adult content, many of the shopkeepers say they will refrain from selling adult DVDs and videos in the future even if the Taliban never return.
"People of Swat and its adjoining districts are religious. They do not like our business and they particularly hated it after some started keeping porn CDs,” Liaquat Ali, a leader of the CD shop owners association in Swat, said. "We have decided from the association’s platform, that no one from us will sell such obscene CDs and movies, and if someone violates this decision, he will be cornered."
Conceding that shop owners often sell adult content because it is lucrative and they need to do whatever they can to stay in business, Ali said he thinks shop owners should be compensated so that they can reopen destroyed businesses and not have to sell porn, a similar refrain heard by Afghani farmers who grow opium.
Ali said his own shop was blown up last year after he ignored two warning letters from the Taliban. After the attack he took refuge in Peshawar and was allowed to return only after a written apology to the Taliban assuring them he would give up his business.
"This was once considered one of the most lucrative businesses in the valley and the adjoining areas. It has been totally ruined and hardly a few CD and video shops are still doing business in the valley," he said. "Thousands of people depend on this business. Therefore, the international donors should help us restore our business. We are penniless right now and have no resources to resume our businesses."