This patriotic medley by the Christian community is a plea to end our differences

Updated 13 Aug, 2017 09:45am

Xari Jalil

We want everyone to remember that Pakistan belongs to us Christians too, says singer Rosemary Mushtaq

Singers from the Christian community have come together to sing a medley of patriotic songs whose video was released online last week.

The medley, titled ‘Hum Sab Ka Pakistan’, comprises three classic patriotic songs, including Mehdi Hasan’s ‘Yeh watan tumhara hay’, ‘Hum zinda qaum hain’ that originally featured Amjad Hussain, Tehseen Javed, Benjamin Sisters and Fatima Jaffri, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s 1999 hit ‘Mera paigham Pakistan’.

Facebook users have appreciated the singers’ gesture since the video’s release. “This song will leave you teary eyed,” wrote one user. Another user residing abroad expressed how much the song made him miss his homeland.

“I love how there are quotes from Mr Jinnah’s speeches in the video. It is something quite original and suddenly makes you realise the status of the Christian community in Pakistan, and that despite facing so many attacks, they have the same patriotic spirit as any other Pakistani does,” he wrote.

One of the singers is Rosemary Mushtaq, who has participated in several music shows in the past, including Pakistan Idol. Her voice offers more range and tenor than it did before.

“We did this song with all our love for the country, but within the words, especially of the first song, we want to highlight the fact that we as Christians also want space which we have not fully received,” she said. “In fact, although this is an effort by Christians, we are speaking on behalf of every non-Muslim. We do not have space and representation in several sectors but we want everyone to remember that this country belongs to us also and we have produced many great heroes.”

The medley, titled ‘Hum Sab Ka Pakistan’, comprises three classic patriotic songs, including Mehdi Hasan’s ‘Yeh Watan Tumhara Hay’, ‘Hum Zinda Qaum Hain’ and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s 1999 hit ‘Mera Paigham Pakistan’

The medley is produced by Australia-based Gill’s Production. Akash Sonu has arranged the music. Qaiser Khalid has directed and edited the video. Apart from Rosemary, the singers include Mehboob Gill, Robin Ghosh, Anita Samuel, Arif Bazmi, Saman Haris, Qaisar Chohan, Sadaf Samuel, Javed Akhtar, Haris Bazmi, Sana Yousaf, Arif Bhatti and Anjum Pervaiz.

Akash and his brother Imran Gill conceived the idea of the song. “It was about paying homage to Pakistan on its 70th year of independence,” said Akash. “We thought that in these seven decades none of the non-Muslims separately dedicated anything and we thought a song will be a good idea.”

Akash further said that throughout the production, they kept Mr Jinnah’s motto of ‘Unity, Faith and Discipline’ in mind. “In future, we will take on board our other non-Muslim brothers and sisters as well.”

But there are differing opinions. One listener did not like the idea that the singers sang as Christians rather than as Pakistanis.

“I think there was no need to highlight this as a separate community because what is actually happening is that even on a day like Independence Day we are highlighting our differences rather than unity.”

Originally published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017