Bacha Zareen Jan


Zareen Jan known by her pen name Bibi Gul, also by the honorary title “Queen of Pashto Ghazals” was a Pashto multilingual Pakistani gazal singer, lyricist and musician who primarily sung songs in different languages such as Persian, Hindko, Punjabi, Seraiki, Urdu and predominantly in Pashto language. Born in 1942 to a family of musicians in Mardan, Jan had a flair for singing. Her father Ustad Abdur Rahim Khan was a tabla nawaz who groomed his daughter and brought her to the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Peshawar as a young child. After she passed the auditions, Shad Amritsari introduced her into the music scene, where she soon carved a niche for herself. At times, Jan would write her lyrics under the pen-name Bibi Gul, under which she has left behind an unpublished volume of Urdu and Pashto verses – a good legacy in addition to 200 memorable songs. Unfortunately, PBC Peshawar could preserve only about 60 of these songs in its grimy music library. During Pakistan’s war with India in 1965 and 1971, Jan sang inspirational songs in Urdu and Pashto to boost the morale of the Pakistani soldiers, for which she was gifted a sword and pistol from President Ayub Khan. In recognition of her works, she received the Pride of Performance Award and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.