New Delhi: A renowned folk singer has allegedly been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan’s northeastern Baghlan province. Fawad Andarabi was dragged out of his home on Kishnabad village and shot dead, according to reports from Afghan journalists shared on social media.
Andarabi’s son is believed to have confirmed his assassination.
The Taliban, which have taken over the country amid the pullout of international forces, believe music to be “sinful” in Islam, an interpretation that has been panned by scholars of the faith.
Just days ago, a Taliban spokesperson was quoted as saying by The New York Times that music in public will once again be banned in Afghanistan, as it was during the outfit’s rule from 1996-2001.
While the Taliban assumed power with the promise of a less brutal rule, its reemergence has been marked by reports of a ruthless crackdown against journalists, minorities and those believed to have worked with the foreign forces.
Some women have reportedly been barred from workplaces, despite the Taliban’s claims they would be allowed to study and work within the limits of the Sharia — unlike last time, when they weren’t even allowed to step out without a male relative.
Comedian Nazar Mohammad, better known as Khasha Zwan, was killed in the southern province of Kandahar last month by Taliban members. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid subsequently criticised the killing and said the group members seen assaulting Zwan in a viral video had been arrested.
He alleged the comic was a member of the Afghan National Police, implicated in the torture and killing of Taliban members, but said he should not have been murdered.
Famous folk singer
A viral video of Andarabi that is being shared on social media with the news of his murder shows him singing in a meadow with other musicians, against a mountainous backdrop.
Andarabi was a famous folk singer in the valley located in the northern province of the country, which is around 250 kilometres from the capital Kabul. The province has an ethnically diverse population that includes Tajiks, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Hazaras and Tartars.
While in power in the country from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban permitted religious singing but banned other forms of music because they were seen as distractions to Islamic studies and catalysts for impure behaviour.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)