A new romantic song by Pakistani singer Sitara Younis compares the gaze of a beautiful dancing girl to a drone attack. The appended video comes from the city of Peshawar. The song from a popular movie has some of the standard lyrics of love songs. There is mention of rosebuds and wine. The blaring music celebrates a temptress who has "sweet lips". Her smile is as fresh as early dew..However the repeated chorus is:"My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack".
This hit for Younis follows upon another last year in which the temptress warns a drunken man to stay away:"Don't chase me, I'm an illusion, a suicide bomb."
Khalid Jilanii a part time lyricist and professional driver said that singers and poets are more and more drawing upon the local situation for ideas and images. Jilani said:
"It's been a hit because people like the music and the movie that it was written for. Now you hear it all the time being played at wedding halls and in cars."
Younis's performance was getting many hits on You Tube before You Tube was shut down by the government due to anger over the anti-Islamic film trailer posted on the site.
The composer of the music Maas Wesal claims the drone reference has nothing to do with politics just that the eyes of a beautiful dancing temptress can destroy men just like a drone. Nevertheless the song shows that events in the adjacent tribal territories are being reflected in popular culture.
Music such as this would be suppressed in the tribal areas where the Taliban along with drones are active. However the music flourishes in Peshawar a vibrant and quite diverse city of over three and a half million people.
Bakhtar Khattack, a composer in Peshawar, said:"In the last five years we have suffered a lot of losses because of this war. People hear about so many different incidents that it becomes part of their psyche. It is actually very destructive to our society that these things are being taken lightly and people are even dancing to these sorts of tunes."
Some critics believe the songs are harmful to Pashtun culture and want a board of censors to ban this type of material in spite of or perhaps because of its popularity. The Express Tribune newspaper said: "All in all, the war on terror in these tribal areas has not only become a part of their art, literature and cinema but even the Pashto tele-films, which are famous for vulgarity and Kalashnikov culture." Some complain that the music is not at all Pashtun but mimics Indian Bollywood movies of many decades ago.
Although the Pashto is not translated in the video you can see the characters with Kalashnikov's in the background. The video is vibrant and vulgar and I expect to the Taliban quite unIslamic.