Rock music and MTV is helping President Musharraf loosen the stifling grip of the clerics and drag his country out of a medieval time warp.
“Musharraf rules!” states one teenaged girl. “He’s the only person in power in Pakistan we’ve ever been able to relate to.” Musharraf’s 1999 coup may have suspended Pakistan’s democracy but it also lifted the lid on a simmering rock and roll revolution. Rock music, previously banned as un-Islamic, is now Pakistan’s biggest entertainment industry. Pakistani rock bands tour India, creating a big push for peace. And the arrival of satellite tv has enabled even people in the villages to watch Baywatch. “People have realised we don’t have to kiss anyone’s ass any more,” states one young woman. “We can be ourselves.”