An unusual new Pakistani band's first single courts controversy, and provides a window into a side of Pakistan rarely seen in Western news.
The Beyghairat Brigade musically satirizes the politics of Pakistan, and goes viral.
Notably absent from the satirical verses of the song is the MQM
, a liberal and secular political party centered in Sindh
, a comparatively diverse province in Pakistan's south, home to its largest and most cosmopolitan city, Karachi.
Moving north and east, the band itself is based in Lahore, widely described as the cultural and educational capital of Pakistan, part of Punjab, its prosperous heartland. (The song is sung in Punjabi.) Punjab's Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif
, is representative of Pakistan's political mainstream, his party the PML(N)
being the economically conservative counterweight to the PPP
, the nominally social democratic current national leadership. The two parties are the largest in the country. Near Lahore is Muridke, the headquarters of Lashkar-e-Taiba
the terror organization that recruited Ajmal Kasab, mocked in the song
Swinging far west of Lahore, we reach Khyber-Pakhtunkwa, formerly the North-West Frontier Province
. This region includes the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
, an area comprised of about three million people, constituting the largest base of support for Islamic radicalism and the Taliban. The people of the FATA are underrepresented politically
, but the larger region is the stronghold of the MMA
, a nationwide coalition of Islamist groups, who collectively support the Taliban
. One major clerical supporter of the Taliban, Abdul Aziz Ghazi
, led his followers to bloody confrontation before escaping by dressing as a woman, in a veil and burqa, winked at in the song. Previously on MeFi, one member party, the JUI-F, has taken the unusual step of directly denouncing "armed struggle"