Drone attack love song a big hit in Pakistan

Pakistani singers and poets take inspiration from the harsh reality of daily life

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2012, 3:32am

In a sign of how the routine hunting down and killing of militants by unmanned CIA planes has leached into the popular imagination in Pakistan, drones have been given a starring role in a new romantic song.

In most respects the track, which is proving popular in the largely Pashtun city of Peshawar, is faithful to standard themes of the genre. The lyrics mention rosebuds and wine.

Then comes the repeated chorus: "My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack."

The hit for singer Sitara Younis follows her success last year with a song that warns a man to keep his distance: "Don't chase me, I'm an illusion, a suicide bomb."

Khalid Shah Jilani, the part-time lyricist who penned the song, said singers and poets were increasingly taking inspiration from the situation in their provinces.

Younis' energetic performance of the song had been racking up a healthy number of hits on YouTube before the video-sharing site was shut down by the government on Monday, amid rising public anger over the blasphemous film by anti-Islam activists in the US.

Another composer, Maas Khan Wesal, said the song had proved popular because it reflected the lives of Pashtu speakers on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.