The hip hop group on tour in Pakistan performed in Islamabad, was detained briefly in Rawalpindi, was barred from performing in Lahore (long shadow of Raymond Davis?), then on November 24th, successfully performed at the port city of Karachi.
One may be tempted to call this a 50-50 success, given that the group skipped Peshawar (for good reasons), was unable to perform in Lahore (for fuzzy reasons) but did have successful performances in the capital city of Islamabad, and the country’s largest city of Karachi. But is the ability to be on stage in two out of four U.S. posts in Pakistan sufficient to gauge the success of this program in a country where anti-American protests and demonstrations have tripled since the beginning of 2011? Probably not. One might wonder at the effectiveness of a program like this since it only reaches the more or less westernized and educated parts of the country as compared to the more rural, less educated, more suspicious variety of the local population. I hope somebody back at State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau is looking at the performance metrics of programs like these.
On a side note, I am pleased to report that none of our diplomats in Karachi — not the Consul General or the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) or Cultural Affairs Officer (CAO) went on stage to try their luck with mcing or breakdancing even if it looks like a whole lot of fun. Whew to you, too!
Via YouTube/rashidkhan1973, the FEW Collective with Amjad Sabri Qawwal: