There was and still is something very charming and fascinating about the unforgettable band Vital Signs which became an icon of patriotism in 1987 at the release of the evergreen song ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’. It was the creativity of the talented young singers who made an amazing video of the song, capturing the green hills and soothing sights of Islamabad. Moreover the lively and melodious voice of the lead singer Junaid Jamshed made it their biggest hit. Pakistan was under the stifling dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq and the patriots were dreaming of freedom. The nation was suppressed through various illogical laws and regulations and could not find meaning in life because the future was so uncertain at that moment. It was then on 14 August 1987, when ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ was released. People and even the young children were mesmerized and captivated by the simple and delightful words of the patriotic song which was considered the true expression of love and happiness for the green flag.
With its heartwarming lyrics and catchy tune, it was quickly memorized by everyone; the old, the middle-aged and especially the children who grew up in that era, it became their favourite song. The song captured the young boys riding bikes, sitting on hills, driving in their jeeps and playing their instruments in parks. The release of Dil Dil Pakistan did not just elevate the status of Vital Signs itself but it paved way for the rise of pop music culture in Pakistan that was never seen before.
The charismatic and passionate appearance of the young singers as a whole made Dil Dil Pakistan their biggest hit and fame became their next name. There were several reasons that contributed to the fame, charisma, passion and enthusiasm of Vital Signs and the most important amongst them was the lead singer, Junaid Jamshed.
Junaid Jamshed began his famous career as he joined the band Vital Signs and was equally praised by the members of the band and the audience as well. The bassist for vital signs Shahzad Hassan once recalled that because of Junaid’s good looks, great vocals and amazing voice he became the best part of the band. On August 14, 2013, 26 years after the song was first aired on PTV, the Express Tribune interviewed former Vital Signs vocalist Junaid Jamshed and asked about his attachment to the song and its fame. He replied by saying, ‘I feel quite humbled by the songs success’. Dil Dil Pakistan is the country’s song, our nation’s song and there is this never-ending emotional attachment with it. This song was ranked by the BBC World Service as third in most popular songs around the world in 2003. It became an unofficial national anthem of Pakistan and it was also copied and used in an Indian film in 1990. The vital signs quickly grabbed attention of the audience, nationally and internationally after this song. Junaid became the heartthrob of many young women at that time and this song was just demanded by his voice.
The song made Junaid Jamshed the famous lead singer of the band. Even when the band did not continue Junaid Jamshed continued with the name, ‘Junaid of Vital Signs’ and gained much fame and praise by the audience. He released many hits at that time too.
Dil Dil Pakistan and Vital Signs became an icon of love and expression and continued its legacy even after many years. Junaid Jamshed himself narrated an incident. He went to Canada for reciting a naat at an event, he sang the patriotic song Dil Dil Pakistan as well and that was when people started gathering in huge numbers and supported him with the song. Dil Dil Pakistan was also played in cricket matches in England’s Lords cricket grounds and that was when it acted as a motivator for all the Pakistanis. Another incident was narrated by Junaid about Salman performing in a PTI convention and was singing this song but somehow, he couldn’t make it right and that was when Junaid came in and told him how to go about with it. This was recorded by his son Imran and the video went viral on social media. People can still relate a lot to their love with this song maybe because the 90s was a period when pakistan suffered a lot from Zia’s hawkish dictatorship and was engaged in wars with Afghanistan due to which the nation was quite discouraged and this song was a beam of light and hope for everyone.
All the positivity, encouragement and hopefulness was brought about by this song and people once again began to find peace, happiness and love in all they had as they knew at that moment when this song was released that this is the beginning of something new.
Even after Junaid left this career due to some religious reasons he still committed that he has disassociated himself with music but he can certainly not disassociate himself from Dil Dil Pakistan because like he said, ‘I am Dil Dil Pakistan forever!’ and well who is not? This song in the late 90s used to have a different feel but now it isn’t the same unfortunately. The captivating and heart touching words, ‘Aisi zameen aur asmaan’ years ago, were considered something to be proud of but now Pakistan doesn’t feel that way because of the disrupt amongst the Pakistanis themselves and emergence of various casts and sects. After losing the legendary and unforgettable Junaid Jamshed, Dil Dil Pakistan still and will always live in our hearts. It will always give us hope and motivation to move on with great vigor and determination, to fight all the differences and unite as Pakistanis. It is the ultimate example of patriotic love and passion, indeed!