Punjab Assembly Passes Resolution to Ban Concerts in Educational Institutions (Update)

January 24, 2012

Punjab Government has banned musical concerts in private and public colleges through a provincial assembly resolution. The assembly passed a resolution to ban ‘objectionable’ music concerts because of the recent tragedy that took place at a concert at Al-Hamra Cultural Complex. Instead of addressing the causes behind the tragedy and providing a better solution to the original problem, the assembly has banned the musical events.

Express Tribune reported that Seemal Kamran of the PML-Q tabled a resolution to ban music concerts in all educational institutions and the Punjab Assembly unanimously agreed. She said, “Pakistan is an Islamic republic and permitting music concerts to take place in public and private educational institutions is against the morality and ethics of Islamic culture… When I was in college, our teachers questioned us over [inane things like] long and coloured nails. These days, institutions have done away with this kind of discipline in the name of ‘moderation’.” Seemal further added, “Academic institutions are using these concerts as opportunities to publicise their branches.”

When asked what she expected our children to do in the name of art and culture, she said they could always sing “milli naghmay” and “qaumi taraana”.

Pakistani musicians do not make considerable amount of money through album sales and the only revenues generated are through performances. The resolution to ban concerts in Punjab will kill the little bit which has been left in this industry. We strongly condemn this decision!

The whole music industry has strongly protested against this ban including Ali Azmat, who said that this is a “regressive attitude” of the Punjab Government.

“Punjab government bans concerts in educational institutions. They couldn’t provide security anywhere else. Sad day indeed. They want to talibanize Pakistan or just washing hands of responsibility to provide clean entertainment,” Azmat said.

The Prince of Pop, Ali Zafar, also responded to this ridiculous resolution that was passed today by Punjab assembly.

“‘Objectionable’ concerts? Who will decide what is objectionable. For some jeans and long hair for men objectionable. For some no hair.. Banning something doesn’t solve a problem. Creates more. But then simplest of things are harder to understand and hardest to practice. [Instead of] trying to solve problems of youth without true and intelligent representation of youth is like an uncle trying to tweet with a ball pen,” Zafar said.

“Numberless artists have done numberless concerts in numberless colleges in last many years. Safely and in the best of manner, and one regretful unfortunate mishap due to ‘mismanagement’ cuts it all out. Pakistan is being mismanaged since decades. Should it be banned?” Zafar continues. “Entertainment is one of your fundamental rights and responsibility of the Government to provide you means for it. Learn your rights.”

Adil Omar, an Islamabad-based rapper, also expressed concern at the lack of progress in the music industry.

“Another way to create a living hell for musicians/entertainers who are trying to make a living in Pakistan. Not only do consumers have no access to legally BUY our music but now we’ll be blocked from performing live? – and you wonder why we sell out to India every chance we get,” Omar said.

Adnan Sarwar, the vocalist and the guitarist of the Lahore-based band Club Caramel, is equally concerned about where we are going with all this?

“Resolution passed in Punjab Assembly to ban all concerts! Meanwhile JuD and other hardline ‘religio-political’ parties are organizing ‘Jihad’ rallies and spewing hate freely in the same province! Where are we going with all this?”

Update: Today, the resolution to ban the concerts in academic institutions has been overturned by the Punjab Assembly.