Noted Pakistani musician shuts centre after threat

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD - A well-known sarod player of Pakistan shut his newly-opened music training centre here after his 12-year-old son was threatened. He was told to “stop teaching music”.

Sarod player Asad Qazilbash was shocked when his son, playing in the street with his friends, was approached by a group of young men who told him to tell his father to immediately remove a signboard announcing launch of classes for those interested in learning music.

Qazilbash’s son told him about the warning given by the men who claimed to be members of an extremist group, The News International reported Wednesday.

I recently tried to start music classes at my house for those who are interested in learning the art.

“Earlier this month when I was out of the house, my son, playing in the street with his friends, was approached by a group of young men wearing shalwar-kameez and turbans on their heads and asked him who lives in the house where a board about music classes was installed, Qazilbash was quoted as saying.

My son responded in affirmative to which they scolded him and told him to convey the message to me to immediately remove the board, stop teaching music…”

The musician ignored the threat and two days later, the same group of men turned up again and this time they spoke harshly to his son.

The men told the boy: We told you to tell your father to immediately remove this board and stop teaching music. But your father has neither removed the board nor he had come to us to explain his position, as we told you to tell him to do.

“There are enough evils in society, which have tarnished the image of Islam and we dont want anybody to add to these evils any more. Tell him clearly this time around to immediately remove this board, stop teaching music… So far we are asking politely. If he didnt comply with what we have said things can become very nasty.”

Qazilbash then decided to remove the board of music school from outside his house.

I not only removed the board, but also stopped music classes for the time being. But I am worried about the safety of my children because it is not possible for me to keep them in the house all the time. They have to go out and play with their friends.”

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Syed Kaleem Imam said strict action would be taken against those involved in the case.

Filed under: India

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