Dil Dil Pakistan our ‘second national anthem'

Published: August 13, 2013

Junaid Jamshed feels that lyrics today are not reflective of sentiments. GRAPHIC: EXPRESS/FILE

Junaid Jamshed feels that lyrics today are not reflective of sentiments. GRAPHIC: EXPRESS/FILE Junaid Jamshed feels that lyrics today are not reflective of sentiments. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR
KARACHI: 

There is something about the simplicity of Vital Signs’ Dil Dil Pakistan that tugs at the strings of Pakistani hearts. The melodious expression of love penned by Shoaib Mansoor, in Junaid Jamshed’s soft, soothing voice and Rohail Hyatt’s winning composition came about at a time when patriots were fed up with General Zia’s stifling dictatorship and were dreaming of freedom. Unlike recent times, where former prime minister Gilani could utter a statement like “why don’t they just go then — who’s stopping them?” with distressing poise, Dil Dil Pakistan’s lyrics “in ke siva, jaana kahan?” with the simple melody and percussions of the ‘90s (courtesy Shahzad Hasan and Nusrat Hussai) were endearing and addictive.

On August 14, 26 years after the song was first aired on PTV, The Express Tribune talks to former Vital Signs vocalist Junaid Jamshed — the singer of what is known as the second national anthem of Pakistan as well as the band’s biggest hit — about his attachment to the number as well as its relevance today.

“I feel quite humbled [by the song’s success],” says Jamshed. “There is an emotional attachment to this song — it is the country’s song. Dil Dil Pakistan is the ultimate example of patriotic love.”

For Jamshed, his journey with the band began when this song came about. “I became associated with Shoaib Mansoor, Shahzad Hasan, Rohail Hyatt, Nusrat Hussain, Salman Ahmad and Rizwanul Haq through this one song. When this anthem is played in England’s Lord’s cricket ground, you certainly can’t estimate how meaningful it becomes for us as a nation.”

While Jamshed left music years ago, he confesses that the song is close to his heart. “I don’t want to associate myself with music anymore, but I certainly cannot disassociate myself with Dil Dil Pakistan.”

But when asked how relevant the lyrics of the song are today, Jamshed confesses that the landscape and dynamics have changed. “The mechanics are definitely different today. Dil Dil Pakistan has no meaning left.” He continues, “Sadly, there is too much hatred that has sprung amongst our countrymen.

Today, we become rivals in a flash. What sense does ‘aisi zameen, aur asmaan’ make when you have no value for another Pakistani living on the same soil?” he beseeches, adding that people today are happier to make sacrifices for a political party instead of their own country.

On a more positive note, Jamshed tells us that he has sung the song twice in recent times. On a trip to Canada, where he had gone to recite a naat at an event, Jamshed relates a story of how dispersing crowds came together when he began  to sing.

“I was there, about to recite the naat, when it started pouring heavily. The crowd — which consisted of almost 80% Pakistanis — started dispersing. It was then that I started singing this song and they came back and started singing with me.”

The other incident he relates to is Salman Ahmad’s feat that went viral on YouTube and Facebook. “It so happened that Salman was planning to play the song at a PTI Convention, and he couldn’t do it right, somehow. So I sat down with him and told him how to go about it. These moments were captured by his son Imran. It was done in a casual and homely atmosphere, but it went viral [on social media websites].”

Record sales

Not only was Dil Dil Pakistan number three on the BBC World Service’s world top 10 songs in 2003, it has also been the most popular songs in terms of Pakistan viewers’ choice and sales. EMI-Pakistan’s current General Manager Zeeshan Chaudhry tells us, “This song can easily be claimed as the second national anthem of the country — it is so popular amongst the general public.”

TITLE                                                                         ARTIST  
Dil Dil Pakistan Vital Signs
Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai Mehdi Hassan
Khayal Rakhna Alamgir
Ae Watan Pyare Watan Amanat Ali Khan
Hamara Parcham Yeh Pyara Nahid Akhtar
Main Bhi Pakistan Hoon Mohammad Ali Sheki
Hum Zinda Qaum Hain Amjad Hussain, Tehseen Javed & the Benjamin Sisters
Sohni Dharti Allah Rakhe Shahnaz Begum
Watan Ki Matti Gawah Rehna Nayyara Noor
Jug Jug Jiye Mera Pyara Watan Nahid Akhtar

List of most popular songs in terms of sales provided by EMI-Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • apoorva
    Aug 13, 2013 - 7:03PM

    and “kolaveri di” 1 st ?? :)

    Recommend

  • Morons
    Aug 13, 2013 - 7:45PM

    “I was there, about to recite the naat, when it started pouring heavily. The crowd — which consisted of almost 80% Pakistanis — started dispersing. It was then that I started singing this song and they came back and started singing with me.”

    This is a proof for JJ himself that it is much easier and harmonic to unite people under a nationality than under a religion.

    Recommend

  • Umair
    Aug 13, 2013 - 8:12PM

    @Morons:

    A crowd of merely a couple of thousand people getting together makes such a substantial universe for you. Amazing. Ever been to Hajj? Ever seen it on TV? Apparently not.

    Recommend

  • Usama Bin Ahmed
    Aug 13, 2013 - 8:40PM

    Dil Dil Pakistan… Press “Recommend” if you are singing this song after reading this one.. :)

    Recommend

  • Aug 13, 2013 - 9:39PM

    We will give first song to Baluchistan while keeping the second song. Our madrassa moulvis disapprove music and songs.

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  • Yasser Nomann
    Aug 13, 2013 - 9:59PM

    Dil Dil Pakistan was penned by Rawalpindi-based poet, Nisar Nasik. Shoaib Mansoor is the producer of this national song.

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  • Schazad
    Aug 14, 2013 - 12:18AM

    Why “non of the above” was not an option in the survey?

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  • goggi (Lahore)
    Aug 14, 2013 - 2:35AM

    Till the beginning of the 70s I surely would have loud sang this song.

    Then they broke the One Unit Programme, compelled Bangladesh to separate, declared Ahmadi citizens non Muslims and so Pakistan lost its essence and dil. Today we experience a hollow, intolerant, fanatic, Be-dil Pakistan with a hollow cultural identity and a very huge gap between very very rich and very very poor people.

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  • Aug 14, 2013 - 4:20AM

    From facebook posts of my Pakistani friends, I thought it was Eye to Eye that is your national anthem :)
    .
    Happy Independence Day!

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  • sana
    Aug 14, 2013 - 4:22AM

    @ Schazad
    So that all the indian trolls could vote (1000 times each for “none of the above”) to desperately win the poll?

    Recommend

  • Adeel
    Aug 14, 2013 - 9:02AM

    @ Apoorva, you wish it was…

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  • Aug 14, 2013 - 3:42PM

    Here is the event from Canada when Junaid Jamshed sang “Dil Dil Pakistan” in 2011, after 15 years, under pouring rain!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8R-M3O3xJA

    Recommend

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