Peshawar CD market buzzing with activity before Eid
By Sadia Qasim Shah | 7/5/2016 12:00:00 AM
PESHAWAR: Despite several risks and lack of any legal protection, the Compact Disc (CD) recording companies in Nishtarababd Market of Peshawar City are striving to stay in the business in an entertainment-starved society.

As Eid is just round the corner, the entertainment-starved people, who are not able to go to cinemas anymore since many cinemas have been demolished already, are heading to Nishtarabad Market.

Eid through the years has become an occasion for the CD production companies to release their CD albums and earn profit in an otherwise a business facing losses.Usually tele-films on CD and new video and audio songs of Pashto singers are released before or just after Eid when festivity is in the air.

`On festive occasion like Eid actors and recording companies would get busy much ahead of time to record CD drama or tele-film so that it was ready for release on Eid but not so anymore,` says Ehtisham Turo, writer and film-critic based in Peshawar.

He said that during 2004-2010, when CD drama and tele-films business was on its peak as it had filled the void created due to demise of Pashto cinema and films, the production companies released more than 200 CDs on Eid and other such occasions but on the upcoming Eid, only 45 to 50 CD albums and tele-films would be released.

`So far 15 tele-films and 30 mix videos of stage show songs and other items have been released, said Mr Turo. He said that only those, who still loved making telefilms or music videos and audios, were in business and many profes-sionals had long ago left that line of work due to lack of any legal protection like non-implementation of copyrights laws.

`Memory card and USB are the most serious threat to our business.

I produced and even paid Rs80,000 to protect my production`s copyrights even then it didn`t work, said Imran Tehkalay, who is an actor and runs a CD production company in Nishtarabad.

The market, which once had become a small tele-film industry, has now shrunk to some 52 shops owned by those, who are just keeping the production company business going out of their sheerinterest.

Mr Tehkalay, however, admits that business is not as good as old days. There is not much profit in the business as the copying of films and songs on USB and memory card affects the sale of the CDs.

The number of sale of copies has tremendously dropped from thousands to only one or two thousand copies. Some famous actors of Pashto drama and stage like Jehangir Khan, Ismail Shahid andSaid Rehman Sheeno, who could not find work when shows were banned in Nishtar Hall in early 2000, also headed to Nishtarabad Market to produce their stage shows and tele-films and dramas on CDs at the production houses there.

The business grew fast and was booming between 2004 and 2010, analysts say.

Mr Tehkalay says that despite the fact that business is slow and there is problem of copyrights violation, customers still lil(e to come and buy tele-films and CDs of stage shows especially comedy shows for Eid.

`Jehangir Khan`s comedy drama Badda Khan (5th part) is being released on this Eid,` he says, adding that this comedy drama has beenproducedforthelast10years and is still popular.

He says that Ismail Shahid, actor and producer, is also releasing two comedy dramas, `Rasha Mama Zoi Dey Lewanay Dey` and `Mong KhaYo`.

He said that two song albums of Pashto popular singers Nazia Iqbal and Gul Panrha were also released.