Karan Khan’s not-so-picture-perfect Peshawar

Published: February 11, 2015
For Tasweer, Khan has collaborated with the legendary singer Haroon Bacha who has joined him for few of the music compositions. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

For Tasweer, Khan has collaborated with the legendary singer Haroon Bacha who has joined him for few of the music compositions. PHOTO: PUBLICITY


Pashto singer Karan Khan has released his 13th music album Tasweer. Like his previous works, the album is  an amalgamation of Pashto ghazals and tappas, with an exception of one qawwali, which is dedicated to peace in the country.

Khan is one of the few singers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), after Sardar Ali Takar and Haroon Bacha, who has managed to garner a worldwide fan-following in a short span of time.

For Tasweer, Khan has collaborated with legendary singer Bacha, who has joined him for few of the music compositions. Music for the album has been produced by Asif and Yamee, while the rabab is played by Waqar Atal.

“There is something for every Pashtun living in any part of the world,” said Khan while speaking to The Express Tribune. “There are romantic ghazals, some songs for peace in Peshawar, some on history, and some, on the war that has affected people of the province. Songs have been sung as prayers to God to bless our region with prosperity,” he added.

The work of 10 Pashto poets, including Rahmat Ullah Dard, Dr Izhar Ullah, Dr Israr Atal and Ali Akbar Siyal, has been featured in the album which were selected after months of research and study.

Tasweer has already been released in the market and is being sold in large numbers. Following horrific attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, which left over 100 children dead, Khan felt that the time was not favourable to release music. “But response to the album was extremely good from Pashtuns all around the world,” said Khan.

“In Peshawar, the tradition of releasing an album has become obsolete and due to lack of resources, little quality work is produced,” said Khan. The artistes have limited themselves to releasing only one or two songs, which does not serve the purpose. They have also been affected by illegal downloads from different websites and are no longer in the position to record music and release an album.

This is the second time that Khan has included a qawwali in his album. He is excited to work on its video, which will be shot somewhere in the Dir valley.

Qawwali is included to provide some peace to the soul of the listener,” said Khan.  The qawwali in Tasweer is written by the famous Pashto poet Akbar Shah Siyal and calls for the heaven to have mercy on the country and restore  peace in the region. It also serves as a prayer to stop those who have waged wars in the country.

A ghazal, which has been dedicated to Peshawar has been written by Dr Israr Atal in which he laments over the situation of the once-colourful city.

“The city that used to be an example of natural beauty has now been destroyed,” said Khan, adding that the ghazal comments on the emptiness of the city. He was of the opinion that majority of people who have not fled Peshawar are uneducated and unskilled; some become addicted to drugs and the remaining fall prey to bullets and bombs. Acts of terrorism have destroyed several generations in the city. “Since the beginning of warfare in this region, militancy has become an essential part of our literature,” said Khan.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2015.

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