Gen. Pervez Musharraf may or may not be the one leader who did the most good (or bad) for Pakistan. But he may well be the one who sings the best.
This video of a musical duet with Ustad Hamid Ali Khan recently aired on TV channel Duniya and has been doing the rounds over email, and originally recorded at a private gathering, has probably been seen by many of you already. I am no great expert on these things, but personally I think he did a good job of singing (certainly better than I or most people I know can). I would give him even higher score for good humor and confidence for doing so in public. And I must say that I really like his taste in music for the song he chose to sing along on.
Of course, none of this changes my views on Gen. Musharraf’s politics. I am quite capable – as I hope our readers are – of making those distinctions. But, yes, he may well be the best signer amongst those use have ruled Pakistan (I recall Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto singing along with singers too, but probably not this seriously, nor this well).
In fairness, I have never heard Mr. Zardari or any of the prior leaders singing, so any comparison is premature. Not withstanding my own views on Gen. Musharraf’s politics, the idea of a leader who can appreciate music – and good music – is an endearing one.
Postscript: I must say I have fretted since yesterday on whether to put this up or not. In a time when all of our sensitivities are hyper-sharp, when everything is or is seen to be a deep political conspiracy with layers of ulterior meanings and motives, when everyone lives forever on the edge, where everything is extreme black or extreme white, where even the most innocuous of statements is deemed to be layered with profundity, and where every opportunity – no matter how inappropriate – is used to score the smallest and cheapest of political points … in that mileu one fears that this post too will become victim of disections undeserving. I hope it does not.
May I please request our readers that if you wish to comment on politics – for or against the General – you will find plenty of places on this blog to do so. And we promise to provide you even more appropriate posts to do that on very soon. For now, please focus on that which this post is about: music. If nothing else, enjoy the song. I am confident, it will calm your nerves.