In Pakistan, optimism reigns supreme

Afp April 14, 2010

KARACHI: Even though Pakistani music is said to have fallen on tough times - few concerts take place and musicians in the north-west are routinely threatened by the Taliban - artists and critics are hopeful.



“I’ve been in the industry more than two decades and have seen Pakistani music rise, fall and rise again. Our culture is resilient, which won’t allow the Taliban to take over our society. Making music one’s livelihood was thought to be taboo for people here, but now parents themselves encourage their children to learn music, which shows we have a brighter future. It is the one thing which comforts our people who are sick of terror attacks and political instability in the country.”

Hasan Zaidi:

“Pakistani pop is beginning to discover its own voice moving beyond bubblegum songs about love, by creating fusion with indigenous folk and singing songs about what is happening around us. The early 1980s also saw the rise of political pop, whose lyrics explicitly dealt with issues of freedom and repression.”

Taimur Rehman:

“We are interested in playing music of resistance, struggle and emancipation.”

Ali Azmat:

“Terrorism and a weak economy have affected the music industry dearly. There has been a 50 to 60 per cent decline in shows and concerts and overall earnings since 2005.”

Abid Khan:

“Students are forming bands and the youngest one consists of three seven-year-olds.”

“I want to become a rock star.”


Ahsan Butt | 14 years ago | Reply I think there is no decline in Pakistani music; it is another phase of the music in Pakistan. The people now like to buy and listen sufi music, and they buy qawwali and naat albums. There are huge gatherings on sufi's urs celebration where masses participate in mob dancing too.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ