When Junaid Jamshed Died, So Did A Part Of Pakistan

Posted by Sarah Peracha in Culture-Vulture
December 9, 2016

The well-known singer-turned-cleric of Pakistan, Junaid Jamshed is no more. A dreadful news which has left many speechless after the recent plane crash. PK-116 took off at 3:30 p.m. from Chitral and went missing near Abbottabad soon before the plane crash. He was with his second wife among the rest 40 passengers and 5 crew on the ill-fated plane. He was in Chitral on a preaching tour along his wife.

Jamshed was one of the few public figures who had made a drastic change in his life after attending an Islamic preaching session of a famed cleric – Mulana Tariq Jameel. Mulana saw him in a Pepsi advertorial and decided to convince Jamshed to quit his music career. Mulana is known for his persuasion skills and has previously guided Bollywood star Aamir Khan in Hajj rituals. Jamshed has said on numerous occasions that he chose this life because his previous work was not allowed in Islam. This statement got him a lot of hate on a large scale especially in the music industry of Pakistan.

Though he got full attention from Islamist political parties and circles, his previous colleagues were not in favour of his change. His contribution was sublime in the history of Pakistani music. He gave an esteemed song – “Dil Dil Pakistan” – which actually gave an identity to Pakistan on an international platform. In fact, the song was counted in a BBC poll in 2013 as the third most famous song of the world.

But the divided nation of Pakistan did not have courage to appreciate his contribution. Jamshed’s voice expressed the emotions of a whole generation of people born in the mid-80s and ’90s. He sang romantic as well as national songs, but he was guilty about singing romantic songs after meeting Islamic scholars. He believes that because of his romantic songs, the young generation of Pakistan was straying from the right path, therefore he started preaching Islam and for this he regularly went for sermon tours across the globe.

In the past few years, an extremist Islamic culture is growing in Pakistan vigorously and because of this Pakistani music and film industry has totally collapsed. Moderate values of any society are evanescing in Pakistan.

Jamshed was one of the personalities of Pakistan who had clearly impacted the youth, but his many statements were enough to make a Pakistani youth follow him with their thoughts of moderate Islam. Jamshed, had come under severe criticism from religious segments of society after his controversial views about the wife of Prophet Muhammad. Jamshed issued a public apology after the video shared on social media, leading to an investigation into suspected blasphemy. Soon after that Jamshed left Pakistan and lived in exile for several months.

At the same time, moderate youth of Pakistan stood up against the appeal of extreme religious scholars on applying the blasphemy law on Jamshed. Despite all his controversial statements, the youth of  the ’90s will miss his songs, especially “Dil Dil Pakistan”.