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November 30,2017

Taliban destroy Daesh’s FM radio

Mian Saifur Rehman
LAHORE: A bastion of Daesh ideology’s propagation, an FM radio, that continued to be tuned at 90.35 mhz in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, has been destroyed by Taliban militants, reliable sources have disclosed to The News.
According to the sources, the said FM radio set up by Daesh for propagating its ideology and for bringing more and more Afghans into its fold, had been airing its broadcast in the districts of Imam Sahib and Dash-e-Archi of Kunduz province.
The radio remained operational from September 28 till October 3, 2017 but was soon afterwards traced by the Taliban who destroyed it there and then after a fierce clash with the militants guarding the radio station in which 21 Daesh fighters were also killed.
The news coming from across the Pak-Afghan border, have confirmed that the Taliban inside Afghanistan are opposed to Daesh and are fighting a no-holds-barred battle with the latter, leaving no stone unturned in neutralizing the military and ideological influence of Daesh in a territory that has for long remained the stronghold (and still remains) of Taliban.
The Taliban high command and its other ranks and tiers are especially concerned over the massive bombardment of propaganda by the Daesh people assigned the task of delivering sermons to win over the confidence and loyalty of Afghans who have militaristic tendencies. The Taliban also openly reject the preaching of Daesh ideology through any means including radio broadcast.
It may be recalled that the Taliban group is widely known as a pioneer among the militant outfits in the area of FM radio stations. The chief of Taliban, who is nowadays based in Afghanistan, Mullah Fazalullah, earned the nickname of ‘Radio Mullah’ since he set up at least 30 illegal FM radio stations to get his message across. Pakistanis remember Fazalullah, though with bitter memories, for his rousing radio speeches in the Swat Valley when the TTP (Tehrike Taliban Pakistan) controlled the mountainous region of northwestern Pakistan from 2007 to 2009 where he was finally defeated by Pakistani armed forces.
Mullah’s father-in-law, Sufi Muhammad, head of Tehreeke Nifaze Shariate Muhammadi (TNSM) was also one of the pioneers in the use of radio for propagating his views. Fazalullah used to incite violence in the garb of promoting jihad (holy war) besides issuing edicts against the “sins” of people outside their fold or influence or those not siding with them (Sufi Muhammad and Mullah Fazalullah).
As his track record goes, Mullah is considered a fiery orator and the most hard-line figure among the top commanders of the Pakistani Taliban movement. According to the sources, Fazalullah succeeded in building up his own support base by broadcasting fiery sermons on these illegal FM stations, the first radio station relaying his sermons from a small village mosque in Swat in 2005.
Amazingly, greater support came from womenfolk who donated cash and jewellery in response to Fazalullah’s radio sermons broadcast from his mosque in Swat's Imam Dehri village.
But once Fazalullah established his control, women suffered greatly at his hands as he discouraged them from going outside, promoted forced marriages in addition to forcibly ‘ordering’ the closure of girls' schools.

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