By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad
“We have been doing music together since we were six years old – as long as I can remember,” says Haniya Aslam, as her cousin Zeb (Zebunissa) Bangash sits beside her.
“It started out as a fun thing at family functions.
“Music was very much a part of our family set-up – my father was an aficionado and all my uncles could play an instrument.
“Our grandmother was also a big influence – she was a poet and was fluent in three languages.”
While certainly not a typical Pakistani upbringing, it’s hardly exceptional among educated urbanites.
We are not into politics, but as Pakistani women we feel it is important to dispel the stereotypes abroad
Despite the growing threat of Talebanisation across the country, most Pakistanis remain a serenely liberal and tolerant lot.
The country’s top music acts such as Junoon, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Adnan Sami and Atif Aslam are South Asian superstars and have a strong international following as well.
Addicted to their Bollywood movies and Pakistani pop music, many are at ease with privately imitating their idols.
But, like all other professions in the country, music remains male-dominated. Continue reading