The reality of sharia law in SWAT....
Ahhh...there goes the music....
Zeb Gul used to sell music CDs in Mingora but was driven out of business by the Taliban engaged in peace talks with leaders desperate to halt their march across the nation.
The government insists the Taliban would not be allowed to enforce its harsh version of Islam here, but merchants like Gul know otherwise - he switched to selling poultry.
“The Taliban now call the shots. We cannot do anything that offends them,” he said, standing outside his shop in this once-popular tourist destination less than two hours drive from Islamabad.
Leaders contend their peace talks with the Taliban in this region involve implementing a mild version of Islamic law, in which girls would still be allowed to attend school, vendors like Gul could continue to sell music and movies, and there would be no public floggings or executions.
But three weeks since a ceasefire took hold, the Taliban appear to have used the pause in fighting to tighten their hold over the Swat valley, especially in and around Mingora.
There is also scepticism the Taliban - who do not have to surrender any arms under the ceasefire - will modify their hard-line brand of Islam, as well as concern the region will simply become a safe haven for the Taliban.
In his tiny shop in Mingora's main bazaar, Ali Ahmed now hawks cell phones - not the Pakistani pop music he used to sell, deemed sinful by the Taliban. He says only that the “situation” means his music business was no longer viable.