November 9, 2011

Khowar music unites people of Chitral & Gilgit-Baltistan

The Terrorland Report

PAKISTANI military establishment, through a traditional puppet government, separated Chitral from Gilgit-Baltistan after the so-called independence, and gave it to the NWFP (now officially called Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, don't know what will be tomorrow its name?).

About six decades on, Khowar language and music both have kept the people of the two neighboring mountainous regions emotionally united, locals say. Besides Chitral and Swat, Khowar is also spoken in parts of Yasin valley in Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan. "The Shandur Polo Tournament is a physical link between the divided people," says a man from Barkulti village of Yasin. 

Chitral besides it sitar (ancient version of guitar) is famous for its Kalash polytheist inhabitants. Chitral is a favorite place of British Nobel laureate writer, Doris Lessing. Among the local writers, Dr. Inayatullah Faizi, awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, and Rehmat Aziz Chitrali are very active. The local writers and poets are playing the role of bridge among other over a dozen ethnic groups in the region.

Some locals say the ISI, through its local agents, is Talibanizing the peaceful people of Chitral. The Ismaili Muslims and Kalash non-Muslims are being converted into the Taliban-version of Islam. In this regard, they are getting help of the Afghan Taliban as well. This is putting a big full-stop before cultural activities in the already conservative region, analysts say.

"Talibanization of our society in a hidden way is more scaring for the easy-going peaceful people of Chitral, and, at this point, we miss our past with Gilgit-Baltistan," says a man from Garam Chasma, Chitral. "Those who change their faith, the Saudi government gives them millions and the government helps them in getting lucrative jobs."

As The Terrorland Team has been saying since day-one, Pakistani military establishment should stop its militarization and Talibanization policy. Don't try to make the hundreds of ethnic and religious groups unified under a pseudo-ism... appreciate diversity and the unique identity of every faith and ethnic group; it will make Pakistan a colorful beautiful garden where every flower will support the beauty of every other! In this way our terror-hit country can really become a paradise on earth. 

Here is a collection of Chitrali music and a feature in English. Enjoy them, and if you want to comment on them, you are most welcome. Thanks.

1- Khowar language and sitar can't be separated

2- Khowar song - Ziarat Khan Zerak - The Nightingale of Chitral

3- How Chitrali elders spend long winter nights? Music! 

4-  Indian song - Chitrali version of Bollywood in the Hindu Kush

5- Kalash, Chitrali & Gilgiti music can make anyone dance

6- Chitral in transition! A feature report on two women

Posts on Music Therapy of nations!  

  1. Pashto music can improve Af-Pak-US relations!
  2. Balti music can do what the bloody 'strategic assets' can't
  3. Wakhi music: don't doubt strength of bridge to China & Central Asia 
  4. Shina music & resistance literature in Gilgit-Baltistan 
  5. Burushaski - a unique language & music in Gilgit-Baltistan

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