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Known as “harbinger of peace and love” and “the nightingale of Peshawar”, Rehman Baba (1632-1707) is a poet living in the heart of every Pashtoon.
The crisis of South Korean hostages enters its third week and the Taliban are still threatening to kill them if their comrades not freed.
The same Taliban were claiming of being harbingers of Islamic peace and hospitality when they attacked Kabul in 1996 and seized nearly the entire country.
When they took over power and imposed their Sharia, they give peace and hospitality to the world’s known terrorists who compelled American invasion on Afghanistan.
The same ‘harbingers of peace and hospitality’ kidnapped 23 South Korean health workers, 18 of them women, in the Qarabagh district of Ghazni province and later killed two of them.
As a Pashtoon and Afghan, as it is not our culture to kidnap women and guests, I condemn this act of terrorism and demand the Afghan government to do what they can to free the hostages.
And there is a question for the kidnappers: How do you call it ‘peace and hospitality’ to abduct and kill poor health workers and give safety to hardcore terrorists?
The other day when we were returning from Bacha Khan markaz, we stopped at his shop to meet Haji Gulzar Alam. The signboard erected over his shop was portraying a bearded Haji Gulzar Alam, the once adorable Pashtoon singer.
In Bacha Khan markaz, we had seen an old issue of Pakhtoon magazine which had published Gulzar Alam’s interview. He was quoted on the title: ‘Pashto music has no future.’
I don’t know whether he quit singing because ‘it has no future’ or it was due to growing Talibanisation in the country? I should have asked him about this, but we could not meet him as the shop was closed.
My friend, who is also a singer, told me, ‘He is still a singer, but he is Talibanised!’
Some two year ago, he announced to set up a music academy, but then he ‘founded’ a Property Dealer Shop instead of music academy.
So singer Gulzar Alam is now Haji Gulzar Alam, whom you can meet at his shop ‘Haji Guzar Alam Property Dealer’ on Pajagi Road, near Bacha Khan markaz, Peshawar.
Recently, I learnt that many people in the world are interested in learning language. It was a great discovery for me, as Pashto is my beloved language and the moment I learnt the fact, I started to contribute what I can.
We are working to launch a website where we will post information and related articles, news etc written in Pashto with English translation and audio format.
Currently we have created a weblog to see how it works. Suggestions, comments and help is welcomed.
To visit the Learn Pashto, click here.