IN a bid to control heart and mind of Afghans, the occupying forces has launched cultural invasion in Afghanistan through the local media. Recently the occupying force started a 91.5 FM radio at Wata Poor District in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province. The program list includes a mix of Pashtu, Dari, Indian and English-language music, teachings from the Holy Qura’n, public information and propaganda broadcasts, and a medical call-in show.
According to the Combined Joined Task Force-82 website, the radio station has generated “excitement” among area residents.
The station is part of a larger program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The official name of the radio equipment is Radio In A Box, or RIAB. Currently there are fourteen RAIB systems in the Kunar Valley. Each unit contains a CD player, an A/V jack, a laptop connection and an amplifier. The unit can be installed and running in two hours.
U.S. Army Soldiers from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal, played an instrumental role in getting the station started.
Afghan National Army Capt. Abdul Samad, commander of Weapons Company, 2nd Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 201st Corps, is another key leader that has embraced the station.
“This is the best way to distribute our message to those living at the top of the mountain,” Afghan National Army Capt. Abdul Samad, commander of Weapons Company, 2nd Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 201st Corps
said. “It is the best way to give them the “right information” about the Holy Quran, to explain that the Holy Quran [does] not [allow] the killing of Muslims or Coalition forces,” he said. In other words Qura’n will be interpreted in a way that it doesn’t allow Jihad; resistance or fight back against occupiers.
According to the CJTF-82 website news “the station is so popular that two additional DJs are being hired to replace pre-programmed shows. A few of the programs have quickly become favourites of Wata Poor residents, particularly Pashtu poetry.
Some of the rented local mullahs play an active role in the station as well. They have been given an hour of airtime every day.
“We prefer more traditional styles of programming, but (these) existing programs are very beneficial to listeners,” said Haji Mohammad, Safi village’s mullah.
They informed the public about the frequency and call-in number, distributed radios during their patrols throughout the district, and gave the station a home at Combat Outpost Honaker-Miracle.
The soldiers try to distribute between 50 and 100 radios per week, attempting to provide them to different families and increasing the number of households who can hear the broadcasts.
Abdul Samad, in his first radio address, reminded residents that the ANA (Afghanistan National Army) are Muslims and they are here to provide security for the people. He also reminded them that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are guests in their country.
“All the ISAF and local government want is to bring peace to the area,” he said.