Ghazala Javed: A nightingale plunged into silence

Published: June 19, 2012
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Singer Ghazala Javed was coming out of a beauty parlour when she was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen. PHOTO: FILE

Singer Ghazala Javed was coming out of a beauty parlour when she was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: 

When Pashto singer Ghazala Javed walked onto any stage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was always to the whistling of adolescent boys. The girls were also admirers, as they dreamed to dress and sing like her. The K-P belt swooned when she hummed songs of love and passion. Sadly, this feeling of romantic indulgence came to a screeching halt when the news of her death spread. Javed, a combination of beauty and brilliance, was shot dead on Monday by unidentified gunmen outside a beauty parlour in Peshawar.

“Her death is a great loss to Pashto music. She was an inspiration for the fresh batch of singers coming into the Pashto music industry,” a well-known Pashto singer, Bakhtiar Khattak, tells The Express Tribune. He adds that her tragic murder will serve as a warning sign to younger artists from the region, who will now be reluctant to enter into the local music industry; family pressure and security concerns will overshadow talent and the Pashto music industry will eventually suffer. Female musicians are so deeply affected by the threats received from conservative groups, that they refused to comment on the news of Javed’s death, for fear of a backlash.

Javed hailed from the Banrr village in Swat, which was considered the hub of musicians before the wave of militancy hit the province. “Ghazala Javed was a complete package. She had a beautiful voice and an equally charming personality. I’m shocked to hear about her murder,” says Rahim Khan, a prominent Pashto singer. “Ghazala was a gifted person and we should have honoured her for contributing immensely to the Pashto music industry,” he adds.

The mystery hangs in the air

Although the reason behind her murder is still unclear, like other musicians of that area, Khan blames conservative groups that condemn the profession of art and culture for Javed’s demise. He supports his accusation by citing the murder of yet another versatile female singer, Aiman Udas, who was shot dead in 2009 by unknown assailants. “The new generation will hardly dare to come into this field now, because all they see is death waiting for them with open arms. The actors, singers and musicians should be provided security and protection if we want our Pashto culture to flourish,” says Khan.

Remembering Javed

A true promoter of modern Pashto music, Javed’s voice resonated from Peshawar to Ningerhar. She was something of a national sweetheart and having a picture of her in your mobile phone was not uncommon for young men of that area.  Javed’s sad end reminds one of the brief yet impactful career of Nazia Hassan who, just like the Pashto singer, departed at a very young age leaving her admirer mourning her death.

In the short span of eight years, Javed had managed to release six albums, all of which were a hit in the market. She has performed 10 international concerts in cities like Dubai, Kabul and Kuala Lumpur.

Like most female celebs, she lost a major chunk of followers in April 2010, when she tied the knot with Peshawar-based businessman Jahangir Khan. She remained disconnected with the local music scene for two years until her marriage was on the rocks. After her divorce was finalised, she returned to music, her first love. “She gave stalwarts like Nazia Iqbal tough competition,” the owner of Musafir CD house told The Express Tribune. “She was the one who kept song alive even when K-P was going through its darkest period,” he said.

According to him, her albums sold like hot cakes, and it wasn’t just because she was a pretty face garnering popularity because of her looks. A proud winner of the Khyber Award amongst many others accolades, Javed was a true artist at heart and gave her life in the line of duty. She was heading out for a show from the parlour when unidentified gunmen opened fire on her. The same evening she had recorded her latest song, titled “A zamung kali ta rasha, za ba zan darta pagal kram, tol jehan ba rata gori, za qadamona ba di khqul kram” (The news of your arrival is driving me crazy, the whole village will witness me bow down and kiss your feet).

Now, the city mourns Javed’s death, and will bury with her any dreams of watching her perform again.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (53)

  • Baghi-3
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:07PM

    Another move towards, Talbanisation of country.

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  • Ayaz
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:27PM

    The real enemy, according to her mother, was her ex-husband behind her killing as he had developed personal grudges with former. RIP

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  • khalid mehmood
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:43PM

    sad news for all of us she is great singer may be we will not found such like ghazala in future its big lost for pusto culture.

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  • dv sikka
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:43PM

    Time for sensible Pakistanis, if there is any, to PLEASE wake up and save your country from going into chaos. Please killing of senseless killings of your daughters and sisters.

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  • Abid Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:09PM

    She was a great singer, a breath of fresh air and natural talent. It is sad and tragic. It is loss for everyone. Intolerance in society and law & order situation is causing us pain. This is all brought on us by this incompetent government that is more interested in party line and less interested in public. Everyone is unsafe and it can happen to anyone.

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  • Riaz Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:13PM

    sad

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  • Janan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:28PM

    This is really SAD for all of us. I don’t understand why we pukhtoons like the music but hate the musicians? Who ever killing such innocent people are just stupid, they think they will go to haven? I don’t think so..

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  • Jun 19, 2012 - 9:33PM

    Veey sad news even, i have also written a letter to ET may be they will publish it..

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  • Topak Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:37PM

    Sad news but it happy that ET considered a pashto singer worthy of tribute as rest of the media is focused on the “gate” drama

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  • Big Rizvi
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:54PM

    The same old fanatic repeat of events. Only this time more grueling.

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  • Asif
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:55PM

    Very sad news may Allah SWT put some sense in so called Muslims

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  • Abbas Ali
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:15PM

    may ALLAH rest her soul in peace and forgive her sins.

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  • Iyan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:31PM

    I am shocked beyond belief. Has the country gone crazy ? Unbelievable. People are afraid to talk about the gruesome murder because of fear of consevatives killing them also ? What is going on in Pakistan? A brilliant and upcoming artist who would be a national treasure and her father murdered in cold blood !! My suggestion is that all these talented women must at once run abroad to save their lives.

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  • dude
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:35PM

    I am glad that someone in the English media finally gave a local artist impirtance.KudoaEtRecommend

  • Mehmood Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:48PM

    The moment I haeard this sad & shoking news after 24 hours I am still shocked & woried regarding the killing of innocent citizens of Pakistan. May Allah Almighty rest her soul in paradise & give the courage to the bereaved family to bear this irrivocable loss. please pray for her that Allah Almighty forgive her sins. Amin Sum Amin.

    Mehmood Khan
    Kohat
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  • Hasan
    Jun 20, 2012 - 12:07AM

    @dv sikka:

    I certainly hope you’re not sending this post from Hindustan, which leads the world when it comes to brutality against women. Surely nobody can be that much of a hypocrite, right…?

    I never knew this artist, but she was clearly a national asset and could have gone on to have represented Pakistan’s artistic talent all over the world. I can’t add anything new to the sadness, anger and frustration that has been expressed by others here, so I can only join everyone in praying for her soul in the next world, for her family in this world, and for Pakistan’s very future.

    Hasan

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  • Dr.M.M.Ali
    Jun 20, 2012 - 1:19AM

    Dear All
    It is sad to hear a young life was taken for no reason..May ALLAH forgive her sins and give in Jannat-e-Firdous (Ameen)
    Why there is so much violence in a country like Pakistan. Use to be probably the best country to live once upon a time. People of Pakistan spoiled it all.
    Come together and fix it.
    Although I am not a Pakistani but I pray for you all.
    Dr.Mahmood Ali

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  • imposter
    Jun 20, 2012 - 1:53AM

    R.I.P. dear lady!

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  • Milestogo
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:11AM

    Music is not the best thing in world anyways…

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  • dv sikka
    Jun 20, 2012 - 3:25AM

    @ Hasan – My friend Pakistan for me is the cradle of Indus Valley Civilisation. It is a country of well built and very intelligent people. I do want to see Pakistan a peace loving peaceful and prosperous country. Tell me what prevents Pakistan becoming an industrial giant like Japan. India is a mess in itself, leave it aside. Think of Pakistan’s welfare and prosperity.

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  • Jun 20, 2012 - 3:30AM

    I was big fan of GHAZALA JAVED . she was Great singer. I couldn’t believe when I heard that sad news I am still shocked . She was so young only 22 yrs . This was jus the beginning of her life but some cruel person killed her and her father. May her saoul rest in heaven . May ALLAH forgive her sins AMEEN. I have so many her songs in my wedding video cd and when ever I’ll listen to her songs I’ll miss her from the depth of my heart… !! Wish she was alive ….

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  • HollyCow
    Jun 20, 2012 - 4:12AM

    The governor of Punjab was murdered and we remained silent. The minorities minister was gunned down and we looked the otherway. Now this young woman has been cut down in her prime. Who will avenge these deaths? I will not turn the other cheek. A muscular response is what these murderers respect and understand. Who will join me in putting an end to these people and their sponsers. Let’s kill a few mullahs. Let’s drag the nearest bearded, paragon of virtue and lynch him. ET censor away you moral cowards.

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  • Homa
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:17AM

    I am an indian hindu. For some reason this news makes me very sad. And very angry too at the stupidity of violent people. She seemed like a beautiful person, inside and outside.

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  • Nine-Zero Karachi
    Jun 20, 2012 - 7:55AM

    Anthropologists should be piling into Pakistan right about now to study what race of people Pakistanis really are !! Such brutality is unseen anywhere else in the world. The Mullahs think they belong to the Religion of Peace. If this is ‘peace’ I shudder to think how it must be if it isn’t.

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  • Jawad
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:02AM

    RIP Ghazala,, you will be missed

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  • Dark Knight
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Gunned down by very group who many Pakistanis silently wish win in war against USA and Afghanistan alliance. Is this the future Pakistanis are wishing for themselves ??

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  • Dark Knight
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:37AM

    @Hasan: So your only satisfaction is that India “may be” doing worse then Pakistan????? Is that it ? No remorse for loss of life regardless whether it is a Pakistani or Indian life ??

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  • Raj Wali
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:44AM

    very sad news for all pushtoon.

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  • Baktash Salehi
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:50AM

    It is realy very sad news for us that our best and beautiful singer was killed and we lost the nice sound and she was a beautiful and wounderful pashto singer that is clear in our country some body be famous the stoped person’s not leave them and i blessig Allah absolve her soul we never can found like her miss her always

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  • lungi
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:07AM

    incredible pakistan

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  • raw is war
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:02AM

    looks beautiful.

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  • citizen
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Its so sad.
    RIP Ghazala.

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  • Jun 20, 2012 - 12:12PM

    pashtu music lovers will remember Gazala Javed as a Queen of Pashto Music but first Aiman Udas then another one in Quetta and now attack in Peshawar killing women singers is shameful for us to not protect.

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  • Naweed
    Jun 20, 2012 - 12:23PM

    Her murder is a great cultural loss, she was a versatile Pashtu singer she will be always remembered as a great, beautiful, melodious, young and talented singer, God rests her soul in peace, her murder rang another alarming bell for the other female singers.

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  • Imran khattak
    Jun 20, 2012 - 1:09PM

    Still suffering from uncertain atmosphere here,cannot say any thing about this irrevocable plunged……I rarely listen her track on ATV Khyber channel…..Mostly thinking her in such prime and peak starting of life she was plunged into silence forever…..Our corrupt Leadership make such sad incidents made possible…….Beside it there is no peace of mind due to life uncertain……may her broken mother bereaved who became out of sense and fallen down in reckleness when she saw her so in Hospital…..give patience…….and can only pray for her soul to be in peace…….:/

    Imran khattak
    peshwer pk.

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  • Schazad
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:08PM

    I am probably her biggest fan. I remember when I first her voice and saw her perform on TV, i was just hooked to her personality. What ever her personal character was, it was her choice but she was a very good artist. Her voice and beautiful face was a deadly combination. May Allah give her place in Janat and we should all pray for her forgiveness. I appeal to KP Govt to thoroughly investigate her killers and bring them to justice and give them exemplary punishment, so no one ever dare do any act like this ever again.

    Ghazala, you will always be alive in people’s heart.

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  • Orakzai
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:14PM

    I don’t understand why would some capitalize on such brutal incidents to give yet another bash to Mullahs! when practically our modern brains are as harmful for women as their’s.

    Am I the only challenged one or some one else on the planet also feels that we have devised a good escape goat rant to justify what ever injustice we, the so called “non-fanatic moderate and more civilized ” do to our women? why don’t we accept that women is suffering more generally in the whole world and especially in the third world due to our hypocrisy, than that of the Mullahs doing whatsoever harm to them.

    A human being is gunned down, unbiased news sources identified and confirmed that she has been victimized to satisfy yet another false ego of her ex-husband, who is well know for his “moderate” views, but we are bigots enough to put the trash again on heads of religious fanatics and give ourselves yet another “all is well, but only these bearded fanatics” pill.

    Grow up second hand emos..!Recommend

  • Imran khattak
    Jun 20, 2012 - 6:04PM

    probably i was not a big fan of her due to no proper interest on this side but she always come in my mind and i usually think the in age of 22 whats plans she waited to come true, whats path she has choosed for her was her personal but fact is that she was Innocent at all…….her so plunging does not allow us to sleep……its very brutality with us and withn our society……may God bless her+ dad souls…….you will always in our heart……….

    Imran khattak
    Peshawer Pk.
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  • Jun 20, 2012 - 7:03PM

    I like gazala javed bt m very not happy by her bad news

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  • Jun 20, 2012 - 7:14PM

    I love gazala a lot n u guys know wat, she is my second cousin

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 2:24PM

    Ghazala javed i like you soooo much. And when i here this bad news. I was so upset . For you. May Allah give place in jannat. And give puneshment to that person who do this .
    Ghalaza you b forever n my heart. I will b miss you sooooo much.

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  • Zeb
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:15PM

    She was beautiful and attractive personality. She was a singer and a good human being. She left us with wet eyes.
    May! Allah bless her soul with rest and peace. Ameen.

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  • Abdullah Assad
    Jun 21, 2012 - 8:19PM

    She was a great singer i love her voice sha was a proud for kpk

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  • dude
    Jun 22, 2012 - 2:16AM

    I seriously wanted to look likeyou nd me and my friends used to each of your videos on ATV khyber but u should hve married abetter looking man.I love you so muchRecommend

  • Bahader Khan
    Jun 22, 2012 - 5:02PM

    AOA,
    Very sad News.Media should investigate the actual killer of Ghazala Javed.

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  • Aziz
    Jun 23, 2012 - 12:00AM

    I am a Dari Native Afghan. I was shocked when I heard about Ghazala two days ago. Her song ( Rasha gula wo gula ta pase mra ba shum) is repeating in my mind. She was great. To be honest I did not like peshawari songs before I heard Ghazala song ( baran de baran de). Her death remind me the death of our great singer Ahmad Zahir. They both will be remembered forever. Dear Talib brothers, please stop brutal acts like this. I lived in Kabul when you were rolling over this country. You were good in keeping the security. People could travel with millions of afghans any where with out fear. If you try you will be good in bringing the peace as well. Please stop killing innocent people. please stop being used be the enemies of Islam. Please stop giving a bad image about Islam to the world. Islam as it means peace, loves peace. If you keep doing this kind of acts, you will be remembered as a dark spot in the history. If you think people are wrong, talk to them. Don’t kill them.

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  • Aziz
    Jun 23, 2012 - 12:05AM

    I am a Dari Native Afghan. I was shocked when I heard about Ghazala two days ago. Her song ( Rasha gula wo gula ta pase mra ba shum) is repeating in my mind. She was great. To be honest I did not like peshawari songs before I heard Ghazala song ( baran de baran de). Her death remind me the death of our great singer Ahmad Zahir. They both will be remembered forever. Dear Talib brothers, please stop brutal acts like this. I lived in Kabul when you were rolling over this country. You were good in keeping the security. People could travel with millions of afghans any where with out fear. If you try you will be good in bringing the peace as well. Please stop killing innocent people. please stop being used be the enemies of Islam. Please stop giving a bad image about Islam to the world. Islam as it means peace, loves peace. If you keep doing this kind of acts, you will be remembered as a dark spot in the history. If you think people are wrong, talk to them. Don’t kill them.Recommend

  • Imran kHATTAK
    Jun 23, 2012 - 9:13AM

    @Aziz:

    Its very sad that you putt all distortion on Taliban w/o any investigation………for your kind info f.i.r.is against his ex-husband Jahangir and her mother clearly explain that Jahangir have assassinated her.

    Regards
    imran khattak
    peshawer

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  • Aziz
    Jun 23, 2012 - 6:33PM

    @Imran kHATTAK:
    Dear Imarn, Her mother was afraid of Taliban. Ghazala was not the only one killed by Taliban. They attacked a hotel in Kabul yesterday killing 18 people. I wish they think about building not killing.

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  • Ahmad from afghnaistan
    Jun 25, 2012 - 2:31PM

    I am Tajik form Panshir.
    When GhazaLa Jaweed was alive i was not interest to see her picture or lesion to her music but when she was murdered and i brows some webs to know something about her and the history i found regarding her husband and her life was strange to me. She was living in very conservative environment and family as well (Husband family).
    Mrs. Ghazala explored her capacity and she was scored as Top of Top in Pakistani Pashtoon singer. She was very beautiful and innocent mood.
    May Allah bless her and her soul will be in paradise for ever.

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  • Abid Al-Majeedi Rabia
    Jun 26, 2012 - 1:33AM

    FITNA-Shar-bihayaye ka ada ghaib howa, the source of non-muslim disapeared, Mercy of Allah, would he gone 4 years ago, we should be happy on this glad news,

    Thanks,
    Abid Ullah

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  • hameed wardak
    Jun 29, 2012 - 7:37PM

    my dear and beautiful singer we are very regretful for your death we miss you, we all afghan people love you –

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  • ouch
    Jun 29, 2012 - 10:28PM

    @Aziz: what proof or evidence of threat do you have claiming Taliban assassinated her… come out of your narrow minded tunnel vision. Pakistan is full of barbarians other than Taliban too…

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