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PAK AND ROLL?

VH1 Spotlights the "U2 of Pakistan," the "Most Popular Band in Asia" in News Special
A new VH1 News Special, debuting Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) will finally answer the question, "Just how hard do they rock in Islamabad?" Hosted by Susan Sarandon, the half-hour special will unveil, for most people, the most popular rock band in South Asia. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Junoon!

But Junoon is not just newsworthy because of their popularity. The band, which the New York Times dubbed the "U2 of Pakistan," blends East and West, Islam and Christianity.

The band’s core members include two Sufi Muslims from Pakistan and a devout Christian from New York, and their music has transcended political, religious and cultural barriers to make them the most famous celebrities in the country.

Junoon emerged at the end of the Soviet-Afghani conflict, a time that produced the greatest religious extremism in the history of modern Pakistan. At one time the band was banned from the airwaves and denounced by the government as unpatriotic, and the band members have lived under personal threat of terrorism for years.

Eventually, the group became the most popular rock band in South Asia, selling millions of albums in their native Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Their album Azadi was the biggest-selling album on the subcontinent in 1998 and ‘99.

Additionally, Junoon has been recognized by UNESCO for their efforts towards peace in South Asia. And, this year, the band became the first rock band to perform in the General Assembly of the United Nations, performing a concert for peace on Oct. 24 in celebration of the 56th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

The VH1 News Special: Islamabad Rock City not only spotlights concert and news footage of Junoon, but also includes feedback from fellow rockers Yusuf Islam, Sting, Bono, Gene Simmons, Steve Tyler, Mick Jagger and Peter Gabriel, author Salman Rushdie, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and director Hanif Qureshi.

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