Emerging folk singer from North Waziristan demands compensation for tribal artists

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR: An emerging folk singer from North Waziristan has asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to compensate artists and literati from newly merged tribal areas owing to their sufferings at the hands of militants, extremism and military operations. Ghayour Wazir, 28, hailing from Tori Khel Wazir tribe told this scribe that he grew up with bloodshed scenes and fear of militants all around him but he would stealthily listen to Pashto songs on his mini radio set and it motivated a spirit in him to work for peace if he could get a chance through singing.

“I want KP culture department makes a comprehensive plan for compensating artists, performers and literati to address their financial and resettlement issues. It is very unfortunate that neither Federal nor provincial government has taken steps to ameliorate the plight of artists and writers belonging to tribal districts despite their sufferings,” the artist said. Mr Wazir has released several video albums showcasing folk songs in Waziri accent, folk dance songs and remixed tracks.  

Mr Wazir said that completion of education was his first dream and through thick and thin he did his in Applied Economics from IMSciences, Peshawar and another master in Pakistan Study centre from University of Peshawar but love for music had already taken roots in his heart after qualifying intermediate way back in 2012. “Love for singing brought displeasure of my parents and wrath of militants who sent me threatening messages asking me to give up songs of peace and war regarding tribal belt but I was focused and determined,” he stated.  

The rising star said that his maiden performance at Waziristan night in Peshawar in 2015 further encouraged him to realize his dream of joining music as career. He sated while ignoring threatening calls of militants he however convinced his family to serve his people through music. Mr Wazir said he learned basics of music from Gulzar Alam and remixed several popular Pashto folk songs and one such track ‘Khan Dilwar Khan’ most often sung on wedding ceremonies got an overwhelming popularity on social media.  

The artist said that he had been working with private TV channels in different capacities for the last over three years and also had been releasing patriotic tracks but folk singing was his forte and he had been working on a Pashto album which include numbers of Khatir Afridi, Malang Jan ustad, Ghani Khan and a few other poets and it would help promote peace and love.  

“Presently I am learning playing harmonium from noted folk singer, Rashid Khan. I am organizing my own music band to work on some projects regarding peace music especially for tribal belt militants had wreaked on people’s lives and artists and writers were forced to either flee the area or give up their profession. Reviving local folk dances (Waziri attnr) and Pashto folk tracks in other popular accents are my projects on my table.  Shah Wali ustad, and Khayal Mohammad ghazal maestros are my ideal but folk music and poetry touch my heart and always cast a magic spell on masses,” observed Mr Wazir.  

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