As Pakistan’s tourism and entertainment industries witness a major upswing, numerous prominent global figures have conveyed their interest in touring the country, and the latest luminary in the list is none other than rock band U2’s front man, Bono.
The singer-songwriter of the celebrated group expressed his keen desire of visiting the country, courtesy of Pakistan’s own shining rock star Salman Ahmed of the widely-recognized band Junoon.
During a chat with The News, the Jazba-e-Junoon hit maker looked back at his time spent with the Irish singer and how that sparked interest in him of experiencing for himself the splendour of the country that is now drawing attention of notable names from around the world.
Explaining the profound connection he felt with Bono’s work in both professional and personal realms, Ahmed said: “My music and guitar playing has been inspired by U2. Bono's humanitarian work for HIV/AIDS and poverty alleviation also resonates deeply with my work for polio eradication.”
He continued reflecting on his first meeting with the vocal powerhouse: “I met Bono two years ago in Oxford, England. Our mutual friend Jeff Skoll invited us to sing John Lennon's Imagine at the Skoll forum in April 2017.”
Ahmed had been the one to wave the flag of Pakistan at the prestigious platform of the Skoll Awards that was shared not just by the U2 lead vocalist but multiple other bigwigs as well, including Michael Franti, Don Henley, Jeff Skoll and Sally Osberg.
Treading further, Ahmed revealed that it was thanks to his dear friend, the Academy Award-winning film producer, engineer and philanthropist Jeff Skoll, that his friendship with Bono flourished leading to his great desire of touring the country himself.
“Our mutual friendship with Bono led me to invite Bono to Pakistan at his choosing,” he said.
While the precise schedule and dates are yet to solidify, Ahmed added: “The three of us are discussing the possibility in the near future.”
Ahmed went on to say that the singer had voiced his desire of visiting Pakistan via an email that also sang praises for the rock star’s performances.
"I have always told people that Pakistani music is at par with international music, be it traditional sufi music or more modern pop numbers," he had said adding that he was elated over the possibility of the singer’s imminent tour in Pakistan.
The news has come in light of the recent surge that came with multiple distinguished personalities travelling to Pakistan, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Kate Middleton as well as eminent bands like Akcent.
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