Thursday, October 06, 2005

Taliban-ish Spirit Well & Alive in Kabul

The Taliban may be gone from government but Taliban-ish behaviour is well and alive in Kabul.

The Afghan authorities have detained Mohaqiq Nasab, editor-in-chief of Hoqooq Zan (Women’s Rights) because he wrote in an article pondering on the need for harsh Islamic punishment for thieves, apostates, etc.

His views were not considered as reflecting the compassionate nature of Allah because ‘earthly forces’ in the Afghan capital decided that Islam ought to be harsh.

The earthly forces? Mohaiuddin Baloch, a mere religious adviser to President Karzai. Despite his mere staff (advisory) function Baloch decided to grasp executive powers by the tail and ordered the arrest of Nasab for blasphemy.

However, Fazel Sangcharaki, a deputy minister at the ministry of information and culture, said Baloch has no authority to arrest Nasab. The government-appointed media commission should be the one who can decide that, and only after questioning Nasab on the details of his article. He said the editor should be handed over to the commission.

There seems to be a tussle between the religious and secular factions in Kabul. President Karzai now has the opportunity to show his presidential credentials, and to stem the mullah-ish behaviour before the neo-Taliban gain ascendancy.

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