The killing of Pashto singer Ghazala Javed has left a number of new female singers aghast
By Javed Aziz Khan
Ghazala Javed was among those celebrities who earned fame all over the world overnight (at least in parts where Pashto music is listened) but could not enjoy it for long. The unfortunate young and good-looking Pashto singer was shot dead in the famous Dabgari Bazaar in Peshawar on June 18 when she was coming out of a beauty parlour along with her father, Javed, and younger sister, Farhat. Her father was also killed while Farhat remained unharmed.
Before Ghazala, a budding Pashto singer, Ayman Udas was killed allegedly by her brothers inside her flat on the outskirts of Peshawar in April 2009. The family was against her singing and seeking divorce from her first husband to marry a man of her choice. In November 2010, another Pashto singer from Quetta, Yasmin Gul, was found dead inside her house in mysterious conditions. A dancer, Naheed, was killed by robbers while returning from a concert a couple of years ago.
Many male and female singers had to leave Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after threats from militants. Ghazala Javed was also among those who migrated from Swat to relatively safer Peshawar.
While leaving the scenic Swat valley in 2007 to escape the wrath of the Taliban in her troubled hometown (like dancer Shabana who was hanged by the militants), Ghazala would have never thought of such fame. She was an ordinary dancer who used to dance and sing in weddings and other local functions. Just a single performance on a local television channel opened new avenues of fame for the talented shy Swati girl and earned her thousands of fans.
It was like a dream start for Ghazala Javed who signed several agreements with musicians and local producers within no time, thanks to her pretty looks. Her portraits were made covers of hundreds of CDs. Her albums were selling like hot cakes. She paid a number of visits abroad on the demand of her fans.
Several other young females were encouraged by the popularity Ghazala Javed had gained in a short time. Musarrat Mohmand, Urooj Mohmand, Saima Naz and Gul Panra were all those female Pashto singers who were inspired by the fame that Ghazala got in singing.
Like in cases of most of the celebrities, several influential and well off people wanted to marry Ghazala Javed. She finally decided to marry a Peshawarite, Jehangir Khan, with a promise to quit singing forever. But the wedding did not prove a success and she had to move a family court for separation from Jehangir. She and her family were threatened for demanding Khula (separation) and planning to restart singing.
“He (Jehangir) was after us since Ghazala had left his home. He used to follow us and get our cellular phone numbers whenever we used to change it,” Farhat, the eyewitness of the murder of Ghazala and her younger sister, told police. She added that on the night of June 18, she and Ghazala had decided to go to the beauty parlour together and had asked her father to pick them after some time.
The two sisters, along with their father, were coming back from the beauty parlour when they were ambushed by armed men. The attackers were more interested in ensuring the death of Ghazala as she received six bullets on her chest and stomach while her father received only one bullet. Farhat remained unharmed.
“She used to tell us that she is feeling suffocated while being away from singing,” said the mother of Ghazala. The mother informed TNS that Ghazala had sung four new songs for her new album. “She told me that after her return from the beauty parlour, she would sing two duets with Rahim Shah for her new album. Since the killing of my beloved daughter, I would not allow any of my four daughters and as many sons to sing”
After her death, a large number of her fans on Facebook shared the popular song of Ghazala “Ka ma goray nu da storo mehfaloono ki ba yam…ya da sawi sawi zra pa daghoono ki ba yam” (if anyone wants to look for me, I would be either in the company of stars or in the broken hearts).
Deputy Superintendent of Police Imtiaz Shah says the police are conducting raids at various places to arrest the ex-husband of Ghazala Javed, Jehangir, and his two alleged accomplices.
The death of Ghazala Javed has instilled fear among a number of new female singers. “The authorities should provide security to the female singers where it is needed so they can better perform,” says Gul Panra, a new Pashto singer, who was all praise for Ghazala Javed.