KABUL, Aug 31: The supreme court of Afghanistan on Saturday backed a decision by state-run media to ban women from singing on the radio and prevent Indian films from being aired in the capital.
"We have no opposition to the watching of films, but we totally oppose the idea of half-naked scenes or romantic films being broadcast and women's songs being aired," Fazl Ahmad Manawi, deputy head of the supreme court, said.
While Manawi sought to play down the political implications of the decision, speculation is growing of a tussle between the Northern Alliance, with its more conservative interpretation of Islam, and the more moderate stance of President Hamid Karzai and his Information Minister Sayed Raheen Makhdoom.
The ban on Indian films and women's songs was ordered this week by Engineer Ishaq, the head of Kabul TV and Radio.
"Yes, we defend the move. Films that consist of melodrama and romance should be censored," Manawi said.
"The decision was made following repeated complaints from a number of people about the condition of the films on TV. We should keep in mind the religious and traditional values of our people," said Manawi. Both Manawi and Ishaq are key members of the Northern Alliance.
Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, Ishaq's predecessor and another Northern Alliance figure, was sacked in August by Makhdoom for barring women's songs from television and for running soundbites of Ahmad Shah Masood, the alliance's legendary leader who was killed a year ago.-Reuterswww.dawn.com/2002/09/01/int8.htmE-mail this article