Rahat Fateh Ali talks about Indo-Pak ties

Published: July 17, 2010

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sonu Niigam will be co-hosting “Chote Ustad” on Star Plus. PHOTO: IANS

MUMBAI: Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who has found immense fame in India, says it is difficult to organise shows for Indian artists in his country because of terrorism.

“It’s not that Indian artists are not welcome there. It’s just that at present the country is going through a very rough patch,” Khan said, explaining why there were more shows of Pakistani singers in India than of Indian artists in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is engulfed in terrorism and under such circumstances even Pakistani artists are not doing too many shows there. So, it is very difficult to organise something for Indian artists.”

“But I’m sure once the situation settles down a little bit, things will change. In fact Indian films and Indian stars are really loved there. The fact is that Bollywood is more famous there than the Pakistani film industry.”

He says he tries to spread brotherhood on both sides of the border.

“I have always tried to advocate peace on both sides of the border through my singing. When I come here (India), people tell me how much they like Pakistani artists and I communicate their feelings there.

“Similarly, in Pakistan, people tell me how much they enjoy India and Indian artists and I communicate the same here as well. Like this, I try to spread feelings of brotherhood. I am only concerned about what a common man on both sides feels and not what the politicians feel.”

Khan, the nephew of legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, is based in Faisalabad and travels to India whenever work demands.

He made his Bollywood debut with the 2004 movie Paap that featured his song “Mann Ki Lagan”. The song was a massive hit and Khan went on to sing songs like “Jiya Dhadak Dhadak” (Kalyug), “Naina” (Omkara), “Bol Na Halke Halke” (Jhoom Barabar Jhoom), “Teri Ore” (Singh is Kinng) and “Ajj Din Chadheya” (Love Aaj Kal).

The singer also made his debut on Indian television as a judge with Imagine TV’s music reality show “Lux Junoon Kuchh Kar Dikhaane Ka”. Now he is returning to the small screen with another music show that will feature children from India and Pakistan as contestants.

The show “Chotte Ustaad 2” will go on air on Star Plus on July 24. Khan’s fellow judge will be singer Sonu Niigam.

When asked what made him to do the show, Khan said, “I decided to do this show because it’s a very good concept. It encourages brotherhood between India and Pakistan, advocates peace and that love should be the foundation of everything. It’s a very good step and hence I wanted to support it.”

“Chhote Ustaad” will feature 10 children from India and 10 from Pakistan. Each Pakistani child will be paired with an Indian child, and the 10 pairs  will compete with each other for the title.

The show will run for 12 weeks.

“I’m happy to be a part of this show. The children we have selected are exceptionally good. Now we will see how we can best mentor them and teach them the nuances of singing,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2010.

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