PESHAWAR – The Culture Journalists Forum (CJF) Tuesday condemned ‘ban’ on artistes and singers by Swat DPO and demanded of the provincial government to explain reasons for banning cultural activities in and around Mingora, Swat.

They said artistes and singers started moving to safe places after DPO Swat imposed ban on their profession.

The forum said that on the one hand the government had been taking several steps for reviving literary and cultural activities in the militancy-hit province, while the security forces were also busy arranging festivals and sports galas in Swat in order to send a positive message to the world, but on the other hand Swat police administration was imposing ban on local artistes and singers of the famous music street Banr, though they were contributing to Swat art and culture development.

“The artistes and singers of Swat have already suffered tremendous losses at the hands of militancy.

Some have faced brutal murder, slaughter, and kidnap incidents.

Others have been forced to quit their profession. Now once again they are subjected to mental torture while some have begun migrating to down country areas for fear of starvation and insecurity.”

They said Minister of Information and Culture Mian Iftikhar Hussain should issue a statement explaining the situation to the public on the Swat police attitude towards local art and culture.

The Culture Journalists Forum said they did not support obscenity in the garb of cultural activities, but banning cultural activities without any apparent reason seem to be beyond understanding.