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ArzePakistan.com – Land on the land of Pakistan June 3, 2008

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ArzePakistan.com – Land on the land of Pakistan



Pakistani Qaumi Tarana got a website! ArzePakistan.com June 3, 2008

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Pakistani Qaumi Tarana got a website! ArzePakistan.com


Pāk sarzamīn shād bād

Kishwar-e-hasīn shād bād

Tū nishān-e-`azm-e-`alīshān

Arz-e-Pākistān!   (http://ArzePakistan.com)

Markaz-e-yaqīn shād bād


A one-stop global village of all the Pakistanis living within and outside Pakistan!


If you are a Pakistani, then inform each and every Pakistani in all the possible ways you can to bring them together on a single platform.


Thanks from the land of Pakistan at


Indian actress Sonia to play in Pakistani drama June 2, 2008

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Indian actress Sonia Jahan, grand daughter of Malika-e-Tarannum, is going to perform a role in Pakistani drama. Sonia has been signed by a private TV company in Karachi for drama serial “Arman”. Besides Sonia Jahan the cast of play includes Indian actors Juhi Perma, Hussain and Rajpal Yadov.

The drama is directed by Moin Hassan while it is written by Sema Ghazal. The shooting of the drama will be carried out in Dubai and Malaysia. Sources said Sonia had signed for the play after analysing her role. The music for the drama is being composed in Karachi these days while shooting will start in the first week of September. Moreover Pakistani cast of the play includes Abid Ali, Farhan Akhtar, Sadia Imam, Laila Zubairi, Sami Sani, Asghar Chandio, Nadeem Baig and others.

Kashmir Cantata May 31, 2008

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Kashmir Cantata
Junoon, the soft-rocking dervishes from Pakistan, came as a rare musical interlude
Despite staying in the same hotel, it proved hard to pin down Salman Ahmed—the lead singer and guitarist of the Pakistani Sufi rock group Junoon—for an interview. Faced with opposition from hardliners against his concert, he preferred to lie low, doing riyaaz at the crack of dawn by the peaceful expanse of Dal Lake, instead of talking to the media. But after the success of the concert, it was quite another story—Salman had become an instant celebrity, a bigger presence in the Kashmir capital than the visiting president of India. When our turn with him finally came at 2.30 am, you could hear the joy in his voice, even at that unearthly hour.
  For the young, the concert came as a rare relief from their limited world. And they seized the moment.  
“After performing in innumerable shows you can get jaded, till something like this comes along to energise you,” said Salman, “the response was totally unexpected, unprecedented.” The concert, organised by the South Asia Foundation (a secular, non-profit,


non-political organisation with chapters in the eight SAARC nations), in association with the University of Kashmir, was indeed unique, the first of its kind in the two decades since militancy claimed Kashmir in 1989. There have been occasional concerts like those of Begum Akhtar and Farida Khanum but those were for the bureaucracy and officials. Junoon’s show was the first one for the public, packing in over 5,000 people. The venue at Chashm-e-Shahi made it even more memorable, with the majestic Zabarwan ranges providing a dramatic backdrop to the stage and the tranquil waters of the Dal Lake spread in front.

In this idyllic setting, Junoon’s music spoke of all the right things: peace and harmony, pluralism, unity and regional cooperation, of music transcending religion to bring people together. The political symbolism of the concert became more pronounced, given the fact that just a couple of days before the event, the United Jehad Council, the umbrella group of militant organisations, had passed a resolution against the show. Their leader Syed Salahuddin had urged the Pakistan government to stop Junoon’s performance since it would have a negative impact on the “disputed status” of Kashmir and send a wrong signal to the international community that “Kashmir was an integral part of India”.

Salman’s response was to dub his show a “jehad for peace”. “It’s about waging a war through the guitar rather than the gun,” he said. “Both sides of the border, we have been demonising the other, but music is a universal emotion and the success of Pakistani musicians in India, like Atif Aslam, Strings and Jal, shows another way to take the peace process forward,” he added. “We have begun something, now it’s for others to take it forward,” said Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyer who heads the India chapter of SAF.

Junoon’s concert had cultural significance as well: it marked the opening of the Institute of Kashmir Studies at the University of Kashmir, which aims to revive the region’s rich and distinctive culture. But more than political-cultural issues, the concert’s real significance was in the way it reached out to young Kashmiris. They flocked to the venue in hordes, stood for hours in long queues; patiently bore with rigorous security checks and the scorching sun. But none of this dampened their enthusiasm. In fact, it came as a rare relief from the tensions—and tedium—of their daily lives….

“The boys here have been facing bullets in the last 20 years and the girls have hardly seen anything of life,” observed a local journalist. Indeed, youngsters in Srinagar have very few options for entertainment other than watching TV or DVDs. There are no malls, multiplexes or clubs.”We carry our music and spend time listening to it by the lake,” said Rashid, a student at Kashmir University.

In such a limited and limiting world, the concert was a release, specially for the girls. And they seized the moment with gusto. They sat quietly as the concert began, gently moving their hands to the tunes. By the time Salman began playing the hot favourite, Sayonee, they were up on their feet, clapping, dancing and whistling in happy abandon. What helped was the fact that Junoon’s is the kind of music they could instantly connect with. It was their language, their concerns and feelings, be it Meri awaaz suno, mujhe azaad karo or Yaaro yehi dosti hai; Iqbal’s Khudi ko kar bulund itna or Bulle Shah’s Mandir dha de, masjid dha de.

“We want more such events here,” said college student Aban Mullick. The environment certainly seems conducive at the moment for fostering a lively youth culture. The town might look as though it is under siege, bathed in army hues of olive green and khaki, but Srinagar has been peaceful for a while now. The economy is looking up a little with tourists from Gujarat, south India and Bengal cavorting in the Mughal Gardens and posing for pictures in shikaras. Life seems normal but the underlying unease is also palpable. One incident can tilt the balance—that’s the unspoken fear.

And though the young may have lost themselves happily in Junoon’s music for an evening, their frustration at the lack of opportunities in the Valley remains. The concert was but a glimpse of a normal, vibrant world, that’s still a long way out of their reach.

Pulsating Musical Performances Delight Audience at ‘Summer Beats’ May 31, 2008

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Angelenos welcomed summer with over three hours of high voltage performances by music sensations Atif Aslam and Kailash Kher at the Terrace Theatre here on May 24. The event also featured heart-pumping music by Amanat Ali, international winner of the show ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ and popular female vocalist Richa Sharma.
Billed as the hottest draw of the four, Aslam showed he was indeed a rock star from the moment he stepped onto the stage with dark glasses and velvet jacket and a gait that reminded of Elvis Presley. The crescendo that rose as his name was announced showed that the audience too considered him quite the king.

Atif started with his chartbusting number “Bhigi Bhigi Yaadein” and followed it up with “Aye Zindagi Gale Le”. Changing guitars time and again, and shaking his head to the music, Atif had the entire hall on its foot swaying with him as he mesmerized them with “Tere Bin”, “Doori”, “Mahi Ve” and “Aadat.” Each number seemed to draw more cheers than the next.

The short statured Kailash Kher proved what a giant of musician he is. He set the stage ablaze with a most powerful performance in his high-pitched raw but soulful voice. Though it’s difficult to chose which Kher song was the best, perhaps his “Allah ke bande” followed by “Teri Deewani” would be rated the best of the evening for the goose bumps it sent down the spine. It is not surprising that he is said to have the Midas touch with each song that he has sung for Bollywood having turned into a money-spinner. Kher accompanied by his Kailasa band members enthralled with one hit after the other.

The peppy “Tauba Tauba teri surat” or “Sajna Tere Bina” has the public on its feet. His Sufiana number “Jana Jogi De Naal” was beautiful in its soulful rendition.

The first to come on stage was Amanat Ali. The young Pakistani boy’s popularity with music lovers was evident from the tumultuous reception that greeted him even before his name could be fully announced. Perhaps, also an indication of the reach and popularity of Indian television shows here in the US. Amanat too seemed quite overwhelmed by the audience response as he profusely thanked the audience. Amanat, whose all time favorite star is Shah Rukh Khan, started the evening with ‘Mitwa’ from ‘Kabhi Alvida na Kehna’ which was the number he sang at the ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’ finals.

From then on it was other popular King Khan numbers like “O Hasina, O Nilam Pari” from ‘Om Shanti Om’ and “Khaiyke Paan Banaraswala” from ‘Don.’

Richa Sharma’s entry ensured it was time for the “Billo Rani” style numbers with “jatkas and matkas”. Dressed in a Rajasthani gypsy skirt, the Bollywood singer proceeded to entertain the audience with her earthy powerful style belting out one sensational number after the other. A consummate entertainer, Richa proved why she is called the “Faridabad ka pataka.” From Kaante’s “Mahive” to “Tauba Tauba Ishq Main Kareyan” to “Ni Main Samajh Gayee” and the ever-popular Sindhi number “Damadar Mast Kalandar” she had the audience screaming with joy. She ended with the favorite “Billo Rani”.

The evening wound down with a vote of thanks from the organizers and presenters of the event, Super Entertainment and Shree Balaji Managements.


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Manisha Koirala has been passing through a Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum (sometime joy, sometime sorrow) sort of phase in her life. She has had a sad phase for quite some time and therefore missed her movie ‘Sirf’ released in her absence; she had to immediately leave for Malaysia to shoot for a new movie followed by her long stay in Bangkok following her father’s critical illness and hospitalization. She accompanied her sick father to Bangkok soon after the dubbing of her ‘Sirf’ was completed. Now, she has heaved a sigh of relief with her father recuperating in Mumbai. At the same time, the Nepalese beauty has got an opportunity to do her first double-role film. On the personal front too, the actress has found a new man in her life! Thus, she has experienced joy in her life though after a lot of sorrow. Yes, she has acting in ‘Ek Second’ directed by Partho Ghosh.

The movie has been extensively shot in Malaysia with Manisha starring alongside a Pakistani actor and Jackie Shroff. When asked about the movie, the actress quips, “It’s about how one moment can change one’s entire life. The story of my life.” She is all praise for her co-stars. “My co-stars were a talented Pakistani actor Momin Rana… and Jackie Shroff – a nice mix of the new and the familiar… Just the way I want in my life at this time.” What about the new man in her life? She admits that there is a new man in her life whom she has been seeing for some months now. Who is that man and is she happy with him? “Yes, of course. He’s an American and a very spiritual person. I’ve never been happier.”

Pak scribe’s ‘shameful act’ hurts Tanghdar man May 31, 2008

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Though they deny being romantically involved, former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s recent sojourn with Pakistan’s flamboyant journalist Aroosa Alam at a hill station of Himachal Pradesh hurt the Muslim sense of pride of a Kashmiri man so badly that he has vowed “to teach her a lesson” if given half a chance.

Maroof Khan, a resident of Luntha, a remote village in Tanghdar in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, on Thursday visited the office of a well-known journalist in Srinagar to lodge his protest against Aroosa’s “bringing shame to the Muslims.”

“How could she do such a thing?” he asked. “She seems to be completely without shame.”
The 45-year-old Maroof experienced humiliation when, he said, a cloth merchant from Punjab on Wednesday called him to his shop in Karnah town and  showed him a recent issue of ‘Hind Samachar’ newspaper carrying a story on Amarinder-Aroosa sojourn near Manali. It said that reporters were kept away from a lavish garden party held at the resort.

Maroof, a labourer involved in extraction of sand and gravel from river Kishanganga and its tributaries back home is an illiterate person. It was the non-Muslim trader who read the newspaper story for him. “He asked me look what a Muslim woman from Pakistan is doing with a Sikh from (eastern) Punjab at Manali. I only experienced shame.”

Both Capt Singh and Aroosa have on several occasions strongly denied they are involved in a love affair. The Pakistani journalist told reporters during an earlier India visit, “Neither I nor Capt Amarinder Singh will change our respective religions as there is no question of our marrying.” She asserted, “We are friends and will continue to be so forever.”

Aroosa is mother of popular Pakistani actor and singer Fakhar-e-Alam, aunt of another famous singer Adnan Sami and daughter of notorious “General Rani” who was Yahya Khan’s mistress and later jailed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Maroof, as claimed by him, could not sleep for the whole night.

A person who earns less than Rs 100 a day, and who, for financial constrains, could not allow his three children to pursue their studies beyond primary level, next (Thursday) morning boarded a Sumo taxi to relocate to Srinagar to lodge his protest. The return taxi fare and other expenses on travel come around to Rs 700.

The idea of visiting the familiar journalist was to ensure the message goes across to the relevant quarters and Aroosa is stopped from indulging in activities “which only bring disgrace to us Muslims.”
But who told him all this? “Some people back at Karnah told me you are the right man to approach,” he told the journalist. He also insisted that his sentiment should be recorded and broadcast by ‘Voice of America.’ Maroof wants Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and ulema of the neighbouring country “to wake up to this ignominy and call her back.”

He said: “I want an answer from them.” Moving his finger up on Aroosa’s photograph in the mass-circulated Urdu newspaper of Punjab, he said, “I won’t leave her alive if I find her in Kashmir even if that takes me to gallows.”

A Srinagar resident Mustafa Hussein Butt while responding to the feelings expressed by Maroof said, “She (Aroosa) may be left alone. Why should we waste our blood for a woman who has no idea of what she was doing?”

Butt added: “Then Alama Iqbal (Poet of the East) has said ‘Mujhay fikr-e-jahan kyon ho jahan tera hai ya mera (Why should I strainmyself with the happenings in the world. For, who does the world belong to, me or you)’.”

Pitching it right May 31, 2008

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Mahendra Kapoor has just been conferred the Phalke Samman by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy. Though he has not recorded a Hindi film song since Dillagi (1999) he is as vocally fit as ever, and has just sung for a Pakistani film and a Sufi albumSo many awards and honours, including the Padma Shri, have been conferred on you. How do you look at the latest Phalke honour?
Every trophy and award is important, special and very happily accepted. The Phalke recognition is even more precious because it is a recognition and endorsement from one’s own family – the industry members.

B.R.Chopra was also honoured, and he’s played a vital and major role in your career.
Choprasaab has always been special. His unique characteristic is that he was very, very loyal to his team. Once he worked with someone he never left him – unless that person chose to leave BR Films. Choprasaab was always keen that even a singer should get involved with the film’s totality. He would always make me listen to the story and script before I sang. From Dhool Ka Phool to the serial Mahabharat we had a memorable association with highs like Dharamputra, Gumrah, Humraaz, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Dastaan, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Nikaah, Aaj Ki Awaz and Tawaif.
By the way, I also had a connection with the other winner, Rajesh Khanna.

How is that?
Our family relationship goes back years, as our fathers being good old friends. I even recall attending Rajesh Khanna’s mundan ceremony. Kaka was very fat in college and I was quite surprised when years later I came to know that he had become a star! We met at the recording of Bandhan’s title-song and I recall him anxiously asking me “How is this song?” I later sang all songs except one in Malik and also lent my voice for his songs in Avtaar and Amrit.

It’s almost a decade since you sang in a Hindi film. Why is that?
I do not think that my voice is suitable for today’s songs. I have recorded the main song for Mata Rani Hinglaaj, a Pakistani film on Mata. Do you know that this Hindu shrine of the Mata is there in Pakistan and is extremely popular there with Muslims, who form the bulk of the devotees? The music is by Surinder Kohli and Pt.Kiran Misra is the lyricist.

What else are you doing?
I have recorded a Sufi album with 8 songs, four of which I have rendered and the rest have been sung by my son Ruhan. The music is by Ali-Ghani.

How do you look at today’s music?
(Shaking his head) I don’t find any standard in either the music or the lyrics. Among the music composers, only A.R.Rahman is innovative. I think that Rajesh Roshan was the last music director with substance.

Would you like to sing for Rahman?
(Smiles) Why not?

Your career technically began with V.Balsara’s Madmast in 1953 but took off after you won a singing talent competition and got breaks from judges Naushad in Sohni Mahiwal and C.Ramachandra in Navrang. Who would you say occupied a special place in your life, progress and evolution?
There are so many names! There is Madan (Mohan)ji who gave me few but beautiful songs, like in Woh Kaun Thi? and the full film Jab Yaad Kisiki Aati Hai. One of its songs, Arey o shokh kaliyon is among my top favourites. He also gave me the comedy song Sikander ne Porus se ki thi ladaai for Mohan Choti in Anpadh. To me he was the last word in creativity when it came to making a composition.
Shankar-Jaikishan respected Anna (C.Ramachandra) so much that when they knew I had come from there, they gave me work in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Hariyali Aur Rasta and Sangam and a full film in Balidan. Ravisaab stood out for his simple melodies, like in Gumrah and Hamraaz, Kalyanji-Anandji exploited my fullest range from the highest pitch to the low, Nayyarsaab gave me fantastic songs in so many films and no one could teach vocal ‘throw’ and rhythm as well as he could. Khayyam and Naushad would study a voice and then make the perfect song for it. Then there were Laxmikant-Pyarelal, who gave me one of my career-best songs Aur nahin bas aur nahin in Roti Kapada Aur Makaan and a very different melody like Meri saanson ko jo mehka rahi hai in Badaltey Rishtey. I also rate my songs for Chitraguptaji very highly. like Aaja re mere pyar ke rahi in Oonche Log.
But the man I would place above everyone else was Anna (C.Ramachandra) whom Shankar(-Jaikishanji) rated as the King of composers.

But you barely sang for him after Navrang.
I did sing for him in Zindagi Aur Maut, where there was this beautiful song Dil lagaakar hum yeh samjhe. Anna artiste ko samajhkar gaana banaate. He was a fantastic composer and taught me how to learn a composition. I also did Marathi songs with him.

You have never spoken much about your huge volume of work in Marathi and Gujarati cinema.
(Smiles) I have won the State Award for my work in Madhuchandra under N.Dutta. I also sang a lot of great songs for Ram Kadam, who was on a hit streak in the ‘70s. I sang in Haa Khel Saavalyaanchaa for Hridaynath Mangeshkar, for whom I also sang in a private album.

And then the Dada Kondke chapter began.
True. Dada was amazing. He would act out the song’s requirements. When he heard Kalyanji-Anandji’s Ramchandra keh gaye Siya se that I sang in Gopi he loved my singing so much that he approached me. And from Anjanichyaa sutaa tulaa Ramache vardaan in Ram Ram Gangaram we began a very long association, a lot of which was also with music director Raam Laxman.

The Gujarati innings was very successful too.
Oh, there was a time when I was recording five songs a day in Gujarati, including for private albums. I have won six or seven Gujarat state awards too.

Coming back to Hindi films, apart from B.R.Chopra, whom would you rate high among filmmakers?
Definitely Manoj Kumar. His knowledge of music and his way of visually conceiving and executing the song was amazing.



And John sung his heart out! May 31, 2008

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This night had many firsts.
First, music composer Salim sang for the first time on stage even as Suleiman lent support with percussions. Second, as BT had reported, John Abraham exercised his vocal chords and gave his live audience much more than what they had hoped for.

And thirdly, even though Nagesh Kukunoor promised the audience that he will not sing, the director was forced to come on stage and hum along with the others, which he did like a good sport. And must say, for first time singers, they all rocked! The Bandra Amphitheatre resounded with music as a number of real-life singers like Shankar Mahadevan, Pakistani singer Shafqat Ali, Mohit Chauhan and Zubeen Garg too lent their talents and made it one beautiful musical night. Host Shailendra Singh dropped in for a while in the beginning but had to leave soon. Also seen having a great time were the pretty Sonal Sehgal, Elahe Heptoolah, Bhushan Kumar, Farida Jalal and Girish Karnad.

Song to the rescue: Shafqat Ali got delayed because of the traffic and Shankar Mahadevan came to his rescue. Shankar was supposed to sing just one song but since Shafqat was taking time, Shankar sang another song and asked Nagesh, “Did it serve the purpose?” Since Shafqat hadn’t yet arrived, Shankar joked, “He must have reached Hill Road now,” and belted out one more number.

In demand: John played to the galleries as he took to the mike and sang pretty confidently amidst loud cheers from the girls in the audience. “Should I come up there?” he asked them and they loudly responded with a “Yes!” And then it was total frenzy as they cheered and sang along with him.

Ali Azmat in Chicago at August 16, 2008 May 31, 2008

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Ali Azmat in Chicago at August 16

Hi Ali Azamt live performance at Federation Of Suburban Pakistanis on 61st Independence day event,
Information will be posted soon at www.suburbanpakistanis.org