interview with Pakistani hardcore band




Punk among the last things come to my mind from Pakistan. Rather a short, but hard story of a young country: bloody secession from India (1947), and of Eastern Pakistan  (Bangladesh, 1971), Kashmir, violent power games, and millions left it behind for a better life. How total the chaos there nowadays?

Hassan: The usual. Life trudges on despite the numerous national tragedies we’ve faced over the years. I’ve become desensitized to the usual power games and propaganda, because otherwise it is very easy for someone to lose their sanity if they focus only on Pakistani news. I would rather use my free time to detach myself from the chaos, and study the complex power structures at play.

Are you the Dead Kennedys of Pakistan?

Hassan: Nope. We had no intention of being that. Musically we are different, and we would never like to be considered “this or that” band of Pakistan. We’re just making music we can relate to, regardless of who we’re influenced by or where we come from.

Your hardcore is like the Finnish. What are your music influences?

Hassan: I don’t know how accurate that comparison is, but yes – Finnish hardcore is one of my favorite styles. Tampere SS, Terveet Kadet, Riistyet, Mellaka, Rattus, Kohu-63 are some bands I enjoy a lot from the scene. To an extent, I guess hearing punk music in Finnish (as well as in Japanese, Swedish, Spanish, etc) actually inspired me to do vocals in Urdu.

Basim: Yeah the cold crusty stuff is great. I end up playing so much rock stuff and listening to it when we are recording, in my spare time I try to mix it up.

Punk and underground music scene there?

Hassan: It is small, close-knit but with a potential to grow. However, people lack general enthusiasm for music, so the entire situation can be quite hopeless sometimes. I have been putting on shows, been in different bands, run zines etc for the last 7 years and it’s always an uphill struggle trying to maintain the DIY ethics.

The Pakistani society is conservative – at least I think so. What is the reaction of the society for punk?

Hassan: Conservative societies make for great motivation, in a perverse sort of way. If I didn’t get ostracized for my speaking the truth, I would not have this rage inside me nor the desire to shout on a microphone.

Basim: Sadly nowhere has been immune to these right wing morons. They hold power in Hungary, could very soon do so in France, can’t really make head to tails of what’s happening in Poland, USA is going down the toilet, and the UK is so far up its own ass (and by referendum!) Fuck Victor Orban & everything he stands for.

I have read your lyrics.

“Hammer and sickle, a slogan of the people / But what was achieved? / The people got fucked / Since then we’ve been crying, while all the bastards keep looting” (Democracy is the Best Revenge)

“Bread, clothing, medicine / A small house to live in / Give me free education / For I am a Muslim too”  (What is the meaning of Pakistan?)

You are seem disillusioned. Democracy is the best revenge for what?

Hassan: Who knows? You’ll have to ask the Bhutto family for that answer, it’s their quote.

RNR666: Reputedly it was said by twice prime minister Benazir Bhutto, but we can not ask her, because she was assassinated in 2007 two weeks before the next election. She was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state.

Are you students or/and workers or/and aliens?

Hassan: I concluded my education last year, and am currently working. Sheraz is finishing his education, and Basim lives and works most of the time in the USA.

What is your opinion about Pakistan Antarctic Programme?

Hassan: I don’t know too many details about it. I know there is a Jinnah Antarctic Station by Pakistan, but the public hasn’t been disclosed much information.

Basim: That is where the mothership is located!

RNR666: I have asked this because so strange that a young country with so many social and political tensions is running an Antarctic programme – anyway that station is named after the founding father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. I am sure it is just because India is also running one.

But now here come The Real Bhuttos!

Benazir father’s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto founded the family business Pakistan Peoples Party with the slogan “Islam is our faith, democracy is our policy, socialism is our economy. All power to the  people” in 1967. He was president between 1971-73, and prime minister between 1973-77. Military coup 1977. He was accused of murder and after a show trial he was hanged in 1979.

After the execution Benazir was imprisoned until 1984. Her brothers Shahnawaz and Murtaza fled the country and founded a terrorist organization in Afghanistan. Tried to assassinate Pakistani military dictator general Zia-ul-Haq more times. Shahnawaz died suddenly in his 26th year in France in 1985. It is said by poison.

Murtaza went home after seventeen years, but because did not get desirable position formed a maverick fraction inside the party. He was sought by the police on the charge of inciting attacks on two CIA centres. He was killed along with six other party activists in a shooting affair when the police tried to arrest him during Benazir’s second government in 1996.

After the killing Benazir was removed from office on corruption charges. She was given jail sentence together with her future president husband, but she went into exile. After eight years she went home to run on the elections in 2007. She was very careful, two days before her homecoming wrote her last will.

They all lie in the home of dead Bhuttos. It was built by BB. It ‘s beatifully harmonizes with the slogan of Pakistan Peoples Party: Roti, Kapra or Makaan, id est “Bread, Cloth and Shelter” for everyone.



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