Pakistan: Campaign against 'un-Islamic' practices gains momentum

Inter Press Service (IPS)
Religious parties won control of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) bordering Afghanistan last year and recently Islamised its laws.
Just three weeks after the NWFP assembly approved the enforcement of 'shariah' (Islamic law) in the province, the information ministry of Pakistan's federal government issued a circular last week declaring a 'crusade against obscenity in print and electronic advertisements.' Concerns go beyond the industry affected by the anti-obscenity campaign. Recalling the changes that the NWFP government -- led by the six-party alliance of religious parties called Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) -- has put into place, some see this as just the latest sign of a bigger trend reflective of the rise of religious parties, one that could slowly undercut people's rights.