News / Asia

Popular Pakistani Singer Gunned Down

Ghazala Javed, who had a loyal following among Pashto speakers around the world, in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province, Pakistan, undated (F. Zafar/VOA).
Ghazala Javed, who had a loyal following among Pashto speakers around the world, in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province, Pakistan, undated (F. Zafar/VOA).
RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Popular Pashto-language singer Ghazala Javed has been shot dead along with her father in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Local authorities said Javed's husband, whom she'd left after discovering that he had another wife and resisting his demand that she end her musical career, was a suspect.

Police and medical sources told RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal that Javed, who was in her early 20s, was shot by men riding on a motorbike as she left a beauty salon on June 18.

The chief of Lady Reading Hospital, Azam Jan Afridi, said Javed had been shot six times. Her father, who was with her, was also killed, while a sister who was also at the scene survived.

Peshawar District police chief Haji Imtiaz told Radio Mashaal that the three assailants were believed to have included her former husband, Jahangir Khan.

"Ghazala Javed, her father, and her younger sister left a beauty parlor and were sitting in her car when the assailants Jahangir, Salam, and Bashir opened fire on them," Imtiaz said. "As a result, her sister survived, while Ghazala Javed was killed."

There was no word on whether the alleged assailants had been captured by police.

Javed sang in her native Pashto language and had released a number of albums that were popular among young people in Pakistan’s northwest.

She also had a loyal fan following among Pashto speakers around the world.

Javed reportedly married businessman Jahangir Khan in 2010 but divorced after finding out he had another wife and because he tried to ban her from singing.

Javed originally came from the northwestern Swat Valley.

From 2007 to 2009, the Taliban seized control of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, terrorizing the local populace with murders and attacks on girls' schools and music shops.

Javed fled to Peshawar in 2009 as the military launched a major offensive to retake control of the area.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.
This article originally appeared at RFE/RL

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