Bringing ‘tabdeeli’, one song at a time

Published: March 25, 2013
Yousuf Salahuddin says PTI has taken the path of Sufis, who used music to express ideas. PHOTO: AFP

Yousuf Salahuddin says PTI has taken the path of Sufis, who used music to express ideas. PHOTO: AFP


Over 100,000 heads banged to ex-Junoon member Salman Ahmed’s lip-syncing of Hai Jazba Junoon and bhangra king Abrarul Haq’s election song on Saturday. As DJ Butt played one mash-up after another, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally at Minar-e-Pakistan seemed a better concert than any the city has seen in recent times.

Conservative members of society may frown upon the inclusion of musical entertainmentat PTI rallies, but well-known socialite Yousuf Salahuddin praises them. “PTI is taking the path of Sufis, who used music in the same way long ago to express ideas,” he says. “Music is something that connects people.”

A close friend of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Salahuddin said PTI has changed the way politics is being presented to the masses. On the day of the jalsa, Salahuddin was on stage with Khan throughout his speech. Other than being one of the party’s supporters, Salahuddin has helped compose several anthems which were sung by ghazal maestro Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, including Chalo Chalo Imran Ke Saath.

PTI Tigers, a website maintained by the party’s enthusiasts, boasts two pages featuring music which has been sung by some of the biggest artists in Pakistan. According to Salahuddin, music is important in generating the energy at these rallies. “The atmosphere Imran has been able to create is amazing, it was so charged,” he continues. “I have known him for many years and he has worked very hard to reach this point having travelled all across the country.”

The atmosphere at jalsas has inspired several of Khan’s close friends and admirers from the music industry. Musician Shahi Hasan, who recently composed Naya Pakistan which features Ahmed and ex-Vital Signs member Junaid Jamshed, is one of them. Shahi flew in to Lahore to show solidarity with Khan, who has been his friend for many years. “I was on the stage only to see the crowd roaring to Naya Pakistan,” says Shahi. “Junaid [Jamshed], who is in America these days, had told me that I must go. It [Naya Pakistan] is a world success and music is definitely a win at this type of an event.” However, he left early and missed his chance to perform Naya Pakistan.


Yousuf Salahuddin says PTI has taken the path of Sufis, who used music to express ideas. PHOTO: AFP

Due to the untimely rainfall, some of the performances lined up could not take place. Ahmed, too, had difficulties getting to the venue due to strict security and had left his guitar in the car, which was later delivered to him by his sister-in-law after she sifted through the crowd to get to him.

The band Soch, which has become the official band of PTI, sang two songs at the rally, including Uth Jawana and Bandeya. The highlight of the night was Abrar’s Jitna Vi Imran Khan Jitna, which he wrote especially for this rally. Abrar got the crowd going with his performance, sans music.

Jimmy Khan, along with band members of SYMT and Club Caramel, turned up and were seen chanting slogans in favour of PTI. A day before the rally, SYMT performed the jingle Saadi Vari Aan De during sound check.

“Music plays a vital role in creating an emotional attachment,” says SYMT’s bassist Farhan Ali. “Every time I hear Hai Jazba Junoon, it has a different impact on me,” he continues, adding that the band wanted to show its support for Khan.

“We had always been cautious about performing political songs, but our passion for PTI is so strong that it was very hard to stop ourselves,” Ali says.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Asif Khan
    Mar 25, 2013 - 10:38PM

    I was there and you felt emotions rush through blood when Pakistani taranay went on air. We love our country and we love PTI/Imran Khan.


  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Mar 25, 2013 - 10:45PM

    Now see the real face of IK .
    Tabdeeli in his earlier stand .

    IK can not fight election without the support of terrorists .


  • Falcon
    Mar 25, 2013 - 11:00PM

    I loved Abrar’s Jitna Vi Imran Khan Jitna…very original.


  • Ali
    Mar 25, 2013 - 11:10PM

    Music is the best way of expressing emotion. That’s why we have national songs and had war songs back in the day by Noor Jehan and others.


  • sensible
    Mar 25, 2013 - 11:39PM

    Imran has re-engaged youth to politics. Youngesters enjoy political gatherings, they want to talk about politics, all because of PTI and Imran Khan. Clearly he already have bring revolution in country.


  • blithe
    Mar 26, 2013 - 12:05AM

    Yousuf Salahuddin says PTI has taken the path of Sufis, who used music to express ideas – that’s a bit rich.


  • blithe
    Mar 26, 2013 - 12:08AM

    It’s shcoking that PTI cannot carry a speech without music being injeccted into the speeches.

    And some of these songs are nauseating with ‘Imran’ being looped or repeated again and again.


  • Usman
    Mar 26, 2013 - 4:14AM

    PTI is a movement, movements thrive on fervour, raw emotion and the enthusiasm of youth, PTI has got plenty on all these fronts.


  • Falcon
    Mar 26, 2013 - 8:32AM

    FYI…on your side…PMLN jalsa in Mansehra also tried to use music today (which I am sure will make the same trivial act a symbol of creativity now). Unfortunately, Mian Sahab found it difficult to flow along with the rhythm and stopped it in between multiple times.


  • GhostRider
    Mar 26, 2013 - 8:44AM

    @Dr.A.K.Tewari: Uncle Tewari do you even know what you are talking about!!! its Pakistan’s internal politics please do not form your opinions based on what you read in comments section.


  • bilal
    Mar 26, 2013 - 1:14PM

    PTI is helping us to recover our buried junoon by reuniting the true Pakistanis. ik we will support you forever.


  • Ainee
    Mar 26, 2013 - 7:26PM

    When will we take path of Muslims?. Playing music will not change the state of the Ummah. If it could, we would not be where we are today. We’ve had national songs from the very beginning of Pakistan. Please, I beg you, look at the lives of Sahaba r.a
    At the time of Badr, when the kuffars were coming to fight Muslims, they brought with them women who would sing songs and play music. They were jaahils, we aren’t. There should be a distinction between us and them.


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