Printer Friendly

Pakistan dancing girls fear return to Swat Valley.

Summary: Clad in a low-cut dress and heavily made-up, 16-year-old dancing girl one of the women in the East Indies whose profession is to dance in the temples, or for the amusement of spectators. There are various classes of dancing girls.

See also: Dancing
 Shabnam used to spend her nights twirling Twirling is any of several artforms, hobbies, or sport and recreational activities accomplished by spinning or rotating the twirled object either for exercise, or in a rhythmic, or otherwise artful manner.  gracefully for locals and tourists in Pakistan's Swat Swat (swät), district of the Malakand division, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Saidu Sharif is the capital. The largely inaccessible region is reached by air and through mountain passes from the south and east.  Valley.

Clad in a low-cut dress and heavily made-up, 16-year-old dancing girl Shabnam used to spend her nights twirling gracefully for locals and tourists in Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Bejewelled be·jew·eled or be·jew·elled  
Decorated with or as if with jewels.

bejewelled or US bejeweled

decorated with jewels
 dancers of Swat, famous for its beautiful, pale-skinned women, would beguile at house parties, stag nights and hotels, and Shabnam was just 12 when she followed her mother and sisters into the sometimes steamy profession.

But then Taliban fighters infiltrated the valley and her hometown Mingora. Terror forced Shabnam to flee and although some displaced civilians are returning to areas around Swat, she says she is too scared to go home. Religious conservatism

"I don't think the situation will return to normality. The Taliban have terrified ter·ri·fy  
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.

2. To menace or threaten; intimidate.
 not only us dancing girls See Opera girl  but the entire population in Swat. I think the Taliban can return any time," she said.

Pakistan's northwest has seen creeping religious conservatism over the years and in July 2007 Taliban extremists launched a bloody insurgency to impose a harsh brand of Islamic law Noun 1. Islamic law - the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed; "sharia is only applicable to Muslims"; "under Islamic law there is no separation of church and state"
sharia, sharia law, shariah, shariah law
 across Swat.

"About two years ago, the Taliban sent a letter threatening us to stop dancing and singing," Shabnam said.

Such entertainment forms were branded un-Islamic and retribution was harsh, particularly as they are frequently associated with prostitution.

"If I dance at a party for a whole night, then do you think they will let me go without sex?" said Shabnam.

"It depends on the people, the place and the community where I perform. Sometimes I had sex with four to five people," she replied.

She left Swat after her cousin was killed.

"My cousin Shabana was the most beautiful and popular dancer of Swat. She was murdered in Mingora city's Green Square," she said. "She was shot dead."

Fearing she was next, Shabnam fled to the northwest metropolis Peshawar, and says dozens of other Swat dancing girls also escaped.


For two months, Pakistani security forces bombarded fighters in Swat and surrounding districts in a U.S.-backed offensive -- the latest of multiple assaults against the militants, but Shabnam says her career is over.

"Dance was the sole source of our family's income... If any business is affected it is my business, which suffered badly," she said.

Shabnam -- her stage name -- still plies plies 1  
Third person singular present tense of ply1.

Plural of ply1.
 her trade in Peshawar, but the Taliban cast a shadow here too.

Many well-known television and stage actors, and artists based in the city stopped singing or switched to belting out religious hymns after several entertainers were abducted abducted Distal angulation of an extremity away from the midline of the body in a transverse plane and away from a sagittal plane passing through the proximal aspect of the foot or part, or away from some other specified reference point  and threatened.

Famous Pashtun singer Gulzar Alam Born on October 14, 1954, at Charsadda, Gulzar Alam, is a famous and renowned Pashto Singer.  survived at least four assassination Assassination
See also Murder.


Fanatical Moslem sect that smoked hashish and murdered Crusaders (11th—12th centuries). [Islamic Hist.: Brewer Note-Book, 52]


conspirator and assassin of Julius Caesar. [Br.
 attempts and is now in self-imposed exile in Kabul.

Where video and music shops used to stock the latest Indian and Western releases, now they have been cowed into filling shelves with pious Islamic music Islamic music is Muslim religious music, as sung or played in public services or private devotions. The classic heartland of Islam is Arabia and the Middle East, North Africa and Egypt, Iran, Central Asia, India, and Pakistan.  or more extreme Taliban propaganda.

"The Taliban will bomb my shop if I do not keep the jihadi Adj. 1. jihadi - of or relating to a jihad  and religious stocks," said Ahmed Shah, a young shopkeeper, who like all the people gave a false name for fear of Islamist retribution.

The pro-Taliban material ranges from tirades against the United States to gruesome clips of beheadings and bomb attacks.

"Some people like Taliban CDs about execution of criminals and slaughtering opponents," said Jan Mohammad, a shopkeeper in Peshawar's Karkhano market.

"Most of the war CDs are against America. These are propaganda CDs, in which they try to attract young people. These jihadi hymns motivate youth to wage jihad against the aggressor, and bring more recruits to Taliban ranks."

Fearing Taliban

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said earlier this month the military had "eliminated" extremists and government statistics show that 385,000 of 1.9 million civilians who were displaced by the fighting have returned home.

"We will definitely go back to Swat if the situation returns to normal as it was two years ago," said Rozina Khan, 20, another dancing girl who fled to Peshawar with her widowed mother, two sisters and brother last December.

"I stopped dancing when the Taliban sent a threatening letter to our area in Mingora two years ago warning us to quit dancing."

"When I saw Shabana's body I thought enough is enough. I still go to dancing parties in Peshawar if the place is safe. This is my profession. I can't do any other work."

But Shabnam still fears the Taliban and says will not return home.

As for selling sex, "this is a routine in our profession," she said.

"I always charged extra money for sex. In almost all dancing parties I will have to have sex."

"What else can I do? I don't want to die, I want to live," she says.

Provided by an company
COPYRIGHT 2009 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jul 25, 2009
Previous Article:Nigeria forces kill 32 after gang attack on police.
Next Article:Egypt refers Hezbollah case to emergency court.

Related Articles
Rs.30b required for reconstruction of damaged infrastructure in Swat.
Over 100 girls' school destroyed in FATA by Taliban: UN.
Pakistan says won't tolerate Qaeda in sharia area
Pakistan says won't tolerate Qaeda in sharia area
Pakistan cleric slams Zardari over sharia delay
Pakistan dancing girls fear return to Swat
Pakistan dancing girls fear return to Swat
Taliban suffocate Pakistan Buddhist heritage
Taliban suffocate Pakistan Buddhist heritage

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters