PAKISTAN, Sept 09, 2016: Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s “Mirzya” is a full-blown musical with composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy pulling out all stops to make the legendary love tale of Mirza and Sahibaan as Epic in proportion as possible.
The title song alone involved the blended talents of sufi singers from India, Pakistan and Balochistan.
While Daler Mehndi and the upcoming young sufi singers The Nooran Sisters — Jyoti and Sultan from Jalandhar — comprise the Indian contingent of singers for the title track, from Pakistan came the legendary sufi singer Sain Zahoor who sings predominantly at religious shrines.
The internationally celebrated Balochi folk singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri also flew in to pitch in for the title song giving a kind of Epic heft to Gulzar’s lyrics.
“Sain Zahoor is an interesting character. His look itself is so amazing. He is so innocent and truly immersed in his own music and world. Until 2006, he never put his voice into a recording studio. The unique thing is, when you teach him the lyrics of the song, he draws pictures instead of writing syllables… Amazing! And that’s how he remembers the words… Truly a delight to work with,” Mahadevan said.
He is equally amazed by the Baloch singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri.
“Akhtar bhai also is so much fun to work with and had an amazing voice texture… We had to compose the pieces around these two exquisite singers’ voices so that their presence doesn’t look forced into the song,” he said.
Approximately 300 hours of music has been recorded by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for “Mirzya”. Out of this, a large chunk has been used in the film. (IANS)
Washington, D.C.– The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) Executive Committee issued a statement Monday welcoming the President’s stand on US-Pakistan relations, calling it a vindication of its own stand.
The AFB said President Donald J. Trump has called out Pakistan’s constant bluffs with the US and pointed out a big chunk of American assistance was used against people of Balochistan in a secret, dirty war instead of the Taliban.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” President Trump first tweet of 2018 reads.
The tweet was loved by nearly quarter-million Americans and retweeted 83,000 times in less than 24 hours.
The AFB executive committee said the US remains Pakistan’s top foreign aid donor, in addition to the money paid in expectation of cooperation in the Global War on Terror. Yet, for many years now, serving officers in the US Armed Forces have repeatedly spoken out about Pakistan’s perfidy in Afghanistan, which has cost the US lives, money and strategic credibility in the world’s eyes. Pakistan also remains a training ground for terrorism and a prime proliferator of nuclear weapons technology.
No country’s development and democracy have suffered more from Pakistan’s interference via state-sponsored terrorism than Afghanistan. US efforts to help the Afghans rebuild their nation are constantly sabotaged by reeling instability. India is another well-known target.
The AFB said Balochistan is a region rich in natural gas. It that has seen several bloody cycles of insurgency ever since Pakistan forcibly annexed the autonomous Baloch state of Kalat in 1948 in violation of a Standstill Agreement. A portion of historical Balochistan also sits on the other side of Pakistan’s border with Iran. Further, it borders Afghanistan to the north-west. Pakistan’s brutal record in this strategically located province that forms the northern lip of the key Straits of Hormuz has spiked in recent years.
“People of Balochistan tried their very best to work with Pakistan’s false promises of integration after forceful accession, but instead gave genocide to Balochs,” said the statement.
The AFB monitors the situation in Balochistan closely and is in touch with freedom and democracy activists on the ground. The AFB reiterated their call to the Pakistani government to cease violating the physical security of Baloch people, their freedom of expression, and end the policy of economic exploitation and genocidal violence.
A slow-motion genocide in Balochistan has claimed the lives of 35,000 Baloch people, 6,000 of whom were buried in mass graves while 21,000 are Victims of Enforced Disappearances, according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. “The enforced disappearances situation in Balochistan is no different than what it used to be in Chile and Argentine in the 1970s and 1980s,” the AFB executive committee noted.
The AFB executive committee chimed in with similar sentiments expressed by policy experts in academe, veteran politicians, diplomats, intelligence chiefs, and human rights activists. Among them were former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, leading South Asia expert and former Pakistani ambassador Hussain Haqqani, several Baloch freedom and human rights activists cutting across party lines, former head of Afghanistan’s Directorate of Security Amrullah Saleh, and even normally fierce critics of President Trump’s administration such as Prof. Christine Fair, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
The AFB executive committee consists of Jane Eastwood Weisner, Najeeb Khan, Krishna Gudipati, Soumya Chowdhury and Habiba Ashna. The organization was founded by veteran Baloch journalist Ahmar Mustikhan, who is the president.
Hope and doubt have been expressed on whether the US president’s tweet and words will translate into actionable legislation. Mustikhan published a survey of some of these thoughts in an article titled “Wave of joy sweeps across Afghanistan, Balochistan & India over Trump’s first tweet of 2018”.