Popular Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan says the series of events that followed the September 2016 Uri attack were anything but good. He hopes the “bridge of love” between the two nations doesn’t snap, and god willing, he will perform in India soon.
Ties between India and Pakistan rapidly worsened after the attack on the army base in Jammu and Kashmir. From a few Indian outfits imposing a ban on Pakistani artistes working in this country to some Pakistani theatres pulling down Indian movies, the entertainment industries on both sides of the border also felt the after-effects.
“I hope the issues get solved. But I would like to say that whatever happened in both the countries, it was very bad,” Rahat, who faced a backlash from some Indian celebrities for not condemning the Uri attack that left 19 Indian soldiers dead, told IANS over the phone from Lahore. Rahat has now come up with a single “Saware”, a collaboration with Indian composer-lyricist Anupama Raag. Unveiled by Times Music on Friday, the song’s video features Bollywood actor Kunal Kemmu.
Earlier this year, Bollywood actress Ileana D’Cruz was criticised by some Indians for featuring in Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s song “Pehli dafa”. Rahat’s “Yeh jo halka halka suroor hai” single last month, which had a video starring Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, also didn’t go down well with some. So, is he also fearing a negative response to the new single? “I don’t think it will be criticised,” he said.
Asked about the demand for a ban on Pakistani artistes from working in India, he said: “Artistes’ work cannot be stopped. We have always chosen the path of love. Sometimes, some elements try to damage the bridge of love. But the ones who want to use the bridge, they do.”
The video of his track was shot in Lucknow in June, but took six months to get released. Was it due to the terror attack? He simply said: “It takes time in making a video. There is post-production and lots of other matters. That’s why it took a while to release it.”
Reminiscing the shooting days in Lucknow, which has various architectural wonders, he said: “I had visited Lucknow twice before that, for shows. But I shot there for the first time for ‘Saware’. I had heard a lot about its palaces and historical monuments… Finally got to see them. It was really hot though that time.”
Along with the response to the song, Rahat is looking forward to the tribute tour to his uncle and the late music maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who died on August 16, 1997.
“It will begin from April in North America.” Will the tour be his return ticket to India, where he has often performed and also had to face problems – be it his detention at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport for undeclared foreign currency or his deportation from Hyderabad?
Without revealing whether he will perform in India or not, he said: “Inshallah”. The singer, who has given many Bollywood hit numbers like “Teri meri”, “O re piya” and “Jag ghoomeya”, concluded the conversation on a melodious note by singing a few lines of “Chaahat”.