If they thought they could dance their way around Pakistani authorities, they thought wrong.
The hip-hop group visiting from America going by the name FEW Collective was forced to return home on Tuesday amid reports of “non-cooperation” from federal as well as provincial governments, intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments, sources familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune.
The troupe which was scheduled for two more performances before its departure on November 24, had to exit the country prematurely when organisers refused to host their shows due to interference from influential quarters, sources said. A very disappointed FEW Collective left Pakistan from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Tuesday.
The Hip-Hop group’s departure comes just days after they were briefly taken into custody by authorities in Islamabad for “capturing footage of sensitive areas”. Despite deleting the footage from their cameras almost immediately, and being released an hour after being detained, it was obvious that the troupe had rubbed the authorities the wrong way.
US Consulate General Information Officer Leslie Goodman, speaking to The Express Tribune, said they had obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the foreign affairs ministry prior to the group’s show at Alhamra, adding that they had even informed the police about the event. Despite that, “just two hours before the show, we were informed it was cancelled” due to undisclosed reasons.
Goodman refused to comment any further on the circumstances under which the show was cancelled.
Edited by Saarysh Zuberi
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2011.