On 26 November 2010, unidentified militants kidnapped Musharraf Bengash, a Pashtun singer from the Mir Ali area in North Waziristan. Later, a jirga negotiated his release, reported Shaheen Buneri from Radio Mashaal.
Musharraf Bengash sings mainly of rural themes, with his music embodying a nationalistic zeal. Shaheen Buneri writes:
“The Taliban’s anti-music campaign has given rise to a new form of Pashtun music that has been dubbed The Music of Resistance. The spirit of resistance through art has existed in the region since the British colonial times when Pashtun poets wrote poetry advocating independence from a foreign yoke and the establishment of a peaceful society based on their own values, traditions, and cultural heritage. This theme continued through the days of jihad in Afghanistan.”
Buneri interviewed a popular Pashto singer, Bakhtyar Khattak, who runs a private music studio in Nowshera, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. His unique brand of traditional Pashto songs mixed with modern music styles has gained him notoriety among young Pashtuns since he entered the music scene in 2003.
“As a singer, I can understand my role as a change maker,” Khattak told Shaheen Buneri. “In my view, the Taliban discouraged music because they knew singers were the real opposition to their extremist ideology.”
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – 7 December 2010: