Anti-Women Broadcasting Official Refuses to Give Up Post
In defiance of the new Afghan government, Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, president of Kabul TV and radio, refused to leave his post after he was ordered to do so by Information Minister Sayed Makhdoom Raheen. Mansoor is said to have ripped up the order and refused to leave his office, according to the United Kingdom’s Independent.
One of the reasons that may have sparked his removal was Mansoor’s enactment of a ban against women singing on all Kabul broadcasts. Mansoor claims that Islamic law directed him to enact the ban. In Kandahar, broadcasts of women singing are allowed.
Mansoor, who is a member of the Northern Alliance that fought against the Taliban, is also believed to be behind a complaint of alleged blasphemy filed last month in the Afghan Supreme Court against former women’s affairs minister Dr. Sima Samar. The case was thrown out for lack of evidence.
In other news, US airplanes dropped a bomb on a cave complex in southern Afghanistan yesterday and inflicted an unknown number of casualties at a nearby wedding party. Afghan officials and area residents estimate that 40 people were killed and another 100 were wounded, which would make this incident “the worst loss of civilian life at American hands since the war in Afghanistan began,” the Washington Post reported.
US officials have yet to confirm the number of casualties or determine the reason behind the tragedy. Initial reports say that the bomb may have malfunctioned during a raid on suspected hiding places of fugitive Taliban leaders in Uruzgan Province, according to the Washington Post.
Dr. Gulbuddin, an Afghan Defense Ministry official, told Reuters that the celebrants at the wedding party were firing weapons into the air, as is traditional in Pashtun weddings. “Americans have confessed they made a mistake,” he said.
Media Resources: Independent.co.uk 7/2/02; Washington Post 7/2/02; New York Times 7/2/02