The purpose of the workshop is to make people from different sectors including media, human rights organizations, civil society organisations, lawyers, associations of musicians, cultural organizations, and academics collaborate to protect the musicians. The participants are encouraged to analyze and incorporate the documentation and monitoring of attacks and harassments of musicians in Pakistan into their existing work and share this information with Freemuse.


Problems identified
The participants agreed that on a governmental level the army, the bureaucracy, and the politicians have a backward thinking about music. On a local level especially in the rural areas religious restrictions repress the musicians and they and the music industry at large are at risk as music shops are being bombed. The security situation is according to the participants bad in Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakthunwa. In Hyderabad music is viewed as immoral and there is as in many other places a generation gap so the young don’t know their own music history. The social stigma which is especially hard for women results in the musicians being poor and in need of legal aid as well and the younger generation being uninformed about their own musical heritage


Solutions suggested
After periods of severe repression Pakistan is currently seeing improvements in the field of music and the participants confirm that work is being done to strengthen the set up the music sector in Pakistan. The participants wished to collaborate on a network or a new organisation, which would document the violations of musicians with local activists who could collect the data, including data on music training and instrument making in local areas, and protect the musicians and inform them of their rights. This network could also lobby the Ministry of Culture, which should make new cultural policies including quotas and legal aid for the musicians and a policy to protect and promote Pakistani music in the media and finally make the government clearly state that freedom of expression is a prevailing rule in Pakistan.


The participants did though conclude that the first priority should be to get music incorporated into the education system. They concluded that education gives the music a protective layer as it creates an income for the musicians but also sensitises the audience and heightens the esteem of music. The academic research and mediation should also be improved so the children would become informed about music and the generational gap closed. There was also a wish for more government support to music and the creation of more music institutions, production facilities, and publication and promoting initiatives but first and foremost the focus was put on incorporating music into the education system.

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