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Baloch officials must now set caller tunes to Pakistan Zindabad. It’s a new patriotism test

The song, ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, was produced in collaboration with the Inter-Services Public Relations and released in 2019.

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New Delhi: A new order is directing Baloch officials to say ‘Pakistan zindabad’ with a mobile caller tune of the 2019 song by the same name. The order issued by the province’s Services and General Administration Department seeks strict compliance of the new directive in “letter and spirit”.

The notification issued on 29 September directs all secretaries, additional secretaries, deputy secretaries, divisional commissioners, additional commissioners and other department heads to follow suit. The decision was arrived at following a meeting headed by the chief secretary of Balochistan, Mather Niaz Rana.

The order also details a guide, listing contact numbers that one can either SMS or call to get the caller tune service activated.

Several Twitter users expressed their concerns regarding the order. Columnist Mohammad Taqi said: “Directing officials in Balochistan to set the ringtone to Pakistan Zindabad! What else does a colony look like?”

Journalist Mubashir Zaidi raised a question about the level of patriotism: “Why are Balochs asked to say Pakistan Zindabad every time? Why aren’t we sure that they are more patriotic like us?”

Sameer Jeand Baloch, another Twitter user, asked if there is no other way left to save Pakistan. “Is this the last option to save Pakistan? Ringtone saves Pakistan from Zindabad. So this means that no one will starve in the future. Everyone will fill their stomachs instead of eating on their mobile phones.”

Human rights lawyer Kachkol Ali drew comparisons to a forced conversion “which (infringe) the inherent rights of the people.”

Another user, Bahadur Sultan, said: “(Don’t) know whose keen and intellectual mind is behind such (a) notification. Making someone forcefully set such a ringtone reflects the colonial mindset.” While Zakir Muhammad Hasni said, “Now it has come to the point that Balochs have to have a ringtone Pakistan (zindabad) to show their love for Pakistan. I send a curse on a fickle state like Pakistan.”

The song, Pakistan Zindabad, was produced in collaboration with the Inter-Services Public Relations and released in 2019. It is sung by Pakistani singer, music director and composer Sahir Ali Bagga.

(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)

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