Taliban death threats made singer flee his country
Haroon Bacha, a Pashtun singer from the north-western part of Pakistan, fled his homeland two months ago and is now in New York, where he regularly gives performances. A reporter from The New York Times met him and published an interview with the 36-year-old musician on 12 October 2008.
In August 2008, Haroon Bacha escaped from his home near Peshawar, in the North-West Frontier Province, and came to New York, leaving behind his wife, two young children and an extended family.
“If I go back, I will be killed,” he told journalist Ramin Talaie from The New York Times.
Haroon Bacha is known as an eminent Pashto singer who has published dozens of albums and videos, while frequently having performances and appearances on local television.
Hundreds of musicians migrate
Haroon Bacha told The New York Times that he started getting threats from the Taliban about a year ago. He was told to stop singing. “Or else…”
“If it continues like this, and these fanatics get power, our social fabric, our institutions — everything will be destroyed,” Haroon Bacha said.
With a sharply reduced audience in the United States, Haroon Bacha faces an uncertain career.
“We have lost everything. We have lost music, we have lost local games, we have lost children playing in the street. It is almost impossible to visualise what is happening there,” he said.
New York Times – 12 October 2008:
‘U.S. Refuge for Singer Fleeing the Taliban’
Haroon Bacha sings ‘Deere Khkulee Tappe’ – video on YouTube
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