Adnan Sami reveals why he applied for Indian passport

Published: March 27, 2017
 Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami who now holds Indian nationality. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan-born singer Adnan Sami who now holds Indian nationality. PHOTO: FILE

It has been nearly 18 years since Adnan Sami Khan relocated to India from Pakistan, in hopes of taking his music career further. And yet, the singer still seems to be receiving flack for his decision and frequently has to explain why.

“Mumbai has been my home for the past 18 years and I’m very comfortable there,” responded Adnan, when asked about it in a recent interview with BBC Urdu. “18 years is a long enough time to make connections with a city and its people. Mumbai, I would like to state, is very much my hometown.”

The Kabhi Tau Nazar Milao singer stands behind his decision to move, despite knowing he broke many hearts in doing so. “Well, you see, God made the world as one. All these borders that divide it were put there by man. I believe wherever you want to live is your prerogative and wherever I want to live is my prerogative; my personal choice,” added Adnan. “Thousands of people go to foreign countries to further their careers. Don’t our doctors go to the UK or the US? I am focused on South Asian music and Mumbai is the place to be for that.”

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Adnan went on to relay the incidents which led to him to apply for an Indian passport. “My Pakistani passport was due for renewal but for some reason or the other, the process was being delayed,” revealed the composer. “I became stateless for some time. Then, the Indian authorities gave me a Permanent Residence Permit and eventually, I decided to apply for Indian citizenship too. And as you know, I had to denounce my Pakistani citizenship for that.”

He continued, “I wish the Pakistani people would look at the situation as a whole and try to understand it. My love and connection with Pakistan still holds true. The people are still very fond of me, as I am of them. It’s just that how I was treated by the Pakistani authorities back then left me with no other choice…”

Since then, Adnan has settled well into the Indian film circuit and is known to be close with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in particular. But even so, he chooses to do limited work. “If you look at the last 30 years of my career, you’ll see that I’ve always been very selective,” he replied, when compares to the current it-kid of Bollywood music, singer Arijit Singh. “I have never wanted to become a music factory, you know?”

Adnan makes sure to keep tabs on the Pakistani music, even from across the border. “I think what Rohail Hyatt did on Coke Studio was remarkable! And when I heard Farida Khanum’s performance on the show, I started crying! I had to call her up to convey my emotions.”

With songs such as Ae Khuda Ae Khuda, Bhar Do Jholi and Noor-e-Khuda amongst some of his most beloved hits, it’s hardly surprising that Adnan connects with music on a spiritual level. “I think everyone has their own way of expressing whatever they believe in – music is just one of those. It’s a language on its own,” he stated. Commenting on the influence of Sufism in his work, he confessed, “When people tell me my talent is ‘God-gifted,’ I always think, ‘Yes, but would God give me a talent he did not like Himself?’ He has gifted me music and with that, I would live to praise Him back. It’s my way of speaking him. Sometimes it’s serious, like in Noor-e-Khuda. Other times, it’s not so serious, like in Lift Karade.”

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Another recurring feature of Adnan’s music is romance, as seen in songs such as Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein. And while many would label him as having been unlucky in love considering he has been married thrice, the singer’s faith has not been broken. “Well, things happen, you know. When you’re going through a troubled relationship, you feel a lot of pain but eventually, with time, you move on,” he responded, when asked about his first marriage to renowned Pakistani actor Zeba Bakhtiar. “I will always respect Zeba for she was a great part of my life and is the mother of my son. Life is too short to hold grudges, I truly wish her the very best.”

Adnan is currently married to the Afghan-German Roya, whom he met in 2010 and proposed to soon after. “Sometimes, I wonder what I did right in my life to have received great gift like Roya. She just came out of nowhere, with no connection to me or my work. We happened to meet on a project and things just sort of fell into place,” he shared. “I had been broken over my father’s death for a long time. Roya put me back together.”

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Asif
    Mar 27, 2017 - 1:33PM

    Just non-sense, you are no more Pakistani and we are not fond of you.Recommend

  • yasser kidwai
    Mar 27, 2017 - 1:39PM

    Not true..Recommend

  • Asad
    Mar 27, 2017 - 1:44PM

    One wonders why he didnt apply for Canadian, US or Australian immigration. Also, expiry of passport doesn’t make you statelessRecommend

  • BrainBro
    Mar 27, 2017 - 1:52PM

    Other than the burger class, I do not think the average Pakistanis like him any more.Recommend

  • Libra
    Mar 27, 2017 - 2:19PM

    There is no love for you in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Hafsa
    Mar 27, 2017 - 2:26PM

    We can watch Indian movies, we can adopt there culture, our PM and other muslim’s call Indian are brothers, they celebrate Holi, diwali, rakshabandhan in Pakistan to show love and affection to India. They idealize Indian actress n actors and the dresses they wear but ADNAN SAMI KHAN u did wrong……..Recommend

  • Bilal Chaudhry
    Mar 27, 2017 - 2:33PM

    Wellllll! whatever you said, whatever you are saying, whatever you will say…but i say only one thing that… you have lost your place, we pakistani hate you….Recommend

  • London Banker
    Mar 27, 2017 - 2:59PM

    Adnan Sami it is not now but when you are 60 that you will realise what you have lost :)Recommend

    Mar 27, 2017 - 3:18PM

    It’s just that how I was treated by the Pakistani authorities back then left me with no other choice…”. 100% agree with you Adnan……….

    One day I was asked to prove that I am a Pakistani by a officer of then Department of Interior who in the days gone by was responsible for our national identity card………….That blew me up emotionally………My dad was the only officer of Pakistan Eastern Railways that was decorated by Tamgha-e-Quaid e Azam (TQA) in 1968 and he was killed by insurgents in then East Pakistan in 1971……….and I was working at General Manager at a public sector organisation in karachi………………I retorted that what was his name of the father? and next question I asked him can you prove that you are son of your so called father………….He blew up………I told me that I felt his pain but he had also inflicted the same pain to me………We patched up and we both understood our respective positions………..Bureaucrats need to investigate …….but they must be sensitive….. the colonial masters did not teach these lessons of decency to us……..we need to develop our social norms……….May Allah guide us all…….. Recommend

  • Khalid
    Mar 27, 2017 - 3:32PM

    A man who never cared for his father who died cursing him can not expect any sympathies from Pakistanis. Shame on him.Recommend

  • I am a Khan
    Mar 27, 2017 - 3:32PM

    its up to him..he is free to live where he wants…but in my opinion, he looked at the short term benefit only and took indian citizenship…in the long term, he may regret it…Recommend

  • eh
    Mar 27, 2017 - 3:44PM

    As a Pakistani I can only say one thing: this is the singers personal decision. Whatever nationality anyone adopts its their personal choice and individual right.

    Live and let live…Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 27, 2017 - 3:46PM

    ….ok, now what’s the real reason ?Recommend

  • NK
    Mar 27, 2017 - 4:31PM

    I have known Adnan’s family personally… He went for fame and fortune and wanted to grind his own axe to prove a point to his family members!!

    All this other stuff is baloney!Recommend

  • Faisal
    Mar 27, 2017 - 5:30PM

    we don’t need you Adnan Sami. Enjoy living in India. Leave us alone – you are better off in India and we in Pakistan are better off without you. Win-win situation.Recommend

  • ed
    Mar 27, 2017 - 5:49PM

    Perhaps considering the current mood of the society there, he’s having seconds thoughts and needs to justify now?Recommend

  • Freedom
    Mar 27, 2017 - 6:29PM

    Who cares!Recommend

  • Rahul
    Mar 27, 2017 - 7:02PM

    Also come to work in our movies and get treated in our hospitals. However Adnan isn’t the first Pakistan celebrity to relocate to India. Madam Noor Jehan’s granddaughter Sonya Jehan married an Indian and has since relocated to India. Pakistani model Saima Azhar wants to relocate to India and I won’t be surprised if Shoaib Malik moves to India as well once he retires. He spends half of his time shuttling between UAE and India anyway.Recommend

  • Sial
    Mar 27, 2017 - 9:10PM

    He is done and dusted with. We don’t need any explanation from this Indian. No one misses him here and NO, we are not fond of him.Recommend

  • Shakil
    Mar 27, 2017 - 9:59PM

    Many Pakistanis like Indian super stars and there is no harm in it at all.
    What you have done and the way you have done it is absolutely disgusted people in Pakistan. Try to remember your tweets after you became Indian! I have been fan of you since your start. I have binned all your CD’s now.

    There are other Pakistanis who work in India, NFAK did, other like Fawad, Atif, Rahat all do it they didn’t have to surrender their Pakistani nationality.

    So your justification is just absurd, its your decision so live with it.Recommend

  • Burger Class
    Mar 28, 2017 - 12:28AM

    We dont like him either, we are too busy with Ed sheeran and rihanna :pRecommend

  • Kazim Abidi
    Mar 28, 2017 - 12:50AM

    Wah wah wah!! What a lame statement. And who told you that people of Pakistan are fond of you, specially a person who lived in the fantasy of surgical strikes and paid an honor to Modi for killing the terrorists. lol. You were a disgrace to the country. Recommend

  • Ravian
    Mar 28, 2017 - 9:53AM

    Who cares !Recommend

  • reader
    Mar 28, 2017 - 10:38AM

    If he is honest and means what he says, that is good enough. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 28, 2017 - 11:13AM

    I really dont care…Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 28, 2017 - 11:16AM


    Well put…

    And it made me LOLRecommend

  • Khan
    Mar 28, 2017 - 11:18AM

    Love Adnan Sammi. Will always love him, wherever he goes. Our best wishes and prayers will always be with him. Does it really matter that he shifted to India? Tens of thousands of Pakistanis want to go abroad and settle there simply because they want to make a name for themselves in their respective careers. Adnan Sammi is no different. So, why the hate?Recommend

  • Shafqat
    Mar 28, 2017 - 12:08PM

    Stay where you are gone and you have chosen your destiny.
    People of Pakistan don’t care for you anymore and whatever you have don’t can’t never be expected out of any Pakistani ever. Recommend

  • Akbat
    Mar 28, 2017 - 12:10PM

    Should not the acquisition of Indian nationality be treated by Pakistanis the same as any other. Especially now that we Pakistanis are grown up and democratic. Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 28, 2017 - 12:23PM

    One thing i agree with Adnan, the officials in the high commission of pakistan abroad are the most unprofessional disrespectful incompetent corrupt rude and arrogants and they do give you so much trouble and hassle while you want renew passport or ID card. by renewing your passport or IDs like they are giving you a biggest favor of your life.

    This is a personal experience and of those that are there at the embassy at the time of my presence at the high commission. One fellow they did not renew his passport while we went for collecting our passports even he pay the charges and passed his verification earlier by giving excuse that you he was clean shaven in his earlier passport and did not have beard earlier. what kind of excuse is that when he has his fingerprints checked in order to proof he is that person.Is this the quality of rude disrespectful uneducated officials been sent to foreign embassies to serve the countrymen abroad by these corrupt brainless rulers that have no checks or training for these so called diplomats how to treat their countrymen.

    there are so many examples of harassment that make us hurt that why these officials behave in such disrespectful manner with fellow countrymen. Are not we all pakistanis brothers. Tribune please do something yaarRecommend

  • Khalid
    Mar 28, 2017 - 2:28PM

    Hate because he has abundant Pak nationality where he was born, brought up. Due to this country he got the fame and his art was appreciated by foreigners including Indians. Others who relocated to other countries did not cut their roots from Pakistan. Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Mar 28, 2017 - 3:07PM

    If im not exaggerating, Millions of Pakistanis opted to have European Nationalities, Why We ar Angry at Him? Let him be happy if he finds his Happiness in INDIA. What’s Wrong With Our ppl? Mind your own business Why you guys cursing him? He won’t die if you wont love him LOL How Narrow minded you guys are.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Mar 28, 2017 - 10:50PM

    @Bilal Chaudhry:

    Good for him I say. He doesn’t need intolerant, hypocritical Pakistani fans who ironically are the biggest consumers of Bollywood films themselves. Any Pakistani would jump at the option to swap their worthless, degrading green passport for a better one. To give credit where it’s due, he made some great pop music that all Pakistanis I knew enjoyed.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:43PM

    You are out of our hearts and minds.Recommend

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