New York, Oct 14 : A famous Pakistani Pashto singer Haroon Bacha has said that the Taliban forced him to take refuge in the US. He said that Taliban threatened him to stop music, else they would kill him.
"There were letters, there were phone calls, there were text messages. They used to come very frequently back home, just telling me to stop music, or else I would be killed and my family would be," the Daily Times quoted 36-year-old Bacha as telling The New York Time.
He added: "These people (the Taliban) are bringing Pashtuns a very bad name. The reason I didn't succumb to these threats is that I should work for my people, for Pashto as a language and rich tradition. I need to promote it and show to the world that we are not like these people."
Bacha, who has produced dozens of albums and videos, and makes regular television appearances, said that he had endeared himself to his war-weary Pashtun fans, but became a target of the local Taliban, who have been waging an escalating campaign against music, calling it "un-Islamic".
He fled his home near Peshawar two months ago and went to New York, leaving behind his wife, two young children and an extended family. He said if he returned would be killed.
Now, with a sharply-reduced audience in the US, Bacha faces an uncertain career. However, he sang at a small but lively benefit concert in Queens on Saturday, organised by the Pashtun immigrants who have accommodated him at the Forest Hills Jewish Centre.