Previously banned music now flyes off the shelves in Pakistan



Previously banned music now flyes off the shelves

Two young boys had to play in secret because their music was
banned by Pakistani fundamentalists. Now they are selling thousands
of albums, and are popular among Pakistanis all over the world.

BBC News’ Haroon Rashid writes from Pakistan’s conservative North-West Frontier Province, Peshawar, about two young boys who were in the process of starting up a career as musicians and performers when, in November 2002, a powerful alliance of Islamic parties swept to power in the province. Peshawar’s main concert venue was closed, and the fundamentalists banned other public performances on the grounds of protecting public morality. And in particular they frowned on that style of romantic, highly poetic songs which formed the heart of the two boys’ repertoire.

Tariq Hussain Bacha, today 12 years old, and Zeeshan Khan, 11, however, braved the ban by playing secret solo gigs in back rooms of people’s homes. After 18 months of secrecy, the boys’ parents became desperate for the world to hear their music and helped them make the CD ‘Joora Guloona’. The album now sells thousands of albums of traditional songs at home as well as abroad.

Read the success story of Tariq and Zeeshan at BBC World Service:

“Child singers blossom despite music ban”

Depardes: “Child prodigies take Pushto music market by storm”

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