I will never forgive her: Zoheb Hassan

Published: August 12, 2012


Twelve years ago today, Pakistan’s iconic pop princess Nazia Hassan lost the battle against lung cancer at 35.

Fans remember Nazia and her brother, Zoheb Hassan, as the sensations that transformed pop culture in the country and made waves at home and abroad, especially across the border.

Her death may be a tragic loss for the music industry, but it is no doubt that her family bears the agonising pain of living their lives without her.

The Express Tribune recently had the chance to talk to Zoheb while he was visiting Karachi. In a brief interview and amidst flowing tears, Zoheb talked about losing his sister and living life without her.

Reflecting upon Nazia’s philosophy on life, Zoheb said that she was a humanitarian. “I always told her that she should not be a singer,” he said, adding that he had asked her why she was a star. “She had no airs about herself. But she believed she could reach the hearts of millions through music and singing, and could do good humanitarian work.”

He explains how with his pain, his respect for his sister grew after her death. “Her charitable work, most of which I became aware of later, showed me how deeply humane she was,” he said, amazed by her work. But then he grew more serious. As he spoke of her fast-paced approach to life, he shook his head sadly, “I would tell her I can’t keep pace with you. But she never told me she was going to die so soon,” he said. “I will never forgive her for this.”

Looking troubled, Zoheb explained how he was with her in the last year and a half of her life; how we watched her wilt away. Although the doctors informed the family that Nazia would not survive, she was optimistic. “She wanted to live for her son,” Zoheb said. “She wanted to do another album with me!”

He said that she kept the family in the dark about her marriage, and never shared what she had to endure till she was finally divorced days before her death. But Zoheb said it was worse that she had deluded them into believing that she would survive. “She left us in no-man’s land,” he said.

Zoheb also said that being a music composer, his sister’s input was invaluable as it was always constructive criticism from a professional partner. “That is not there anymore,” says Zoheb, indicating that making music without Nazia is not easy.

But he agrees that life moves on. “We are going on — with a certain part of our heart missing,” he exclaimed. He said that natural deaths allow loved ones to accept the loss with time but for him “the wound will always be there”.

“She died an unhappy person and she died in pain,” Zoheb said with shining eyes. “This was a devastating reality for us to know. To see your loved one die in pain is the most frightening experience,” he said, adding that watching a loved one’s painful demise “kills the family from within”. At the end (and on a lighter note), Zoheb spoke with pride about Nazia’s voice — the gift she is remembered for. Of all her songs, he loves “Dil Ke Lagi” but his personal favourite is “Koi Nahi”.

“I love that track,” Zoheb says, the respect clear in his voice. “She sang it like nobody can ever.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • Saad
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:05PM

    Rest in Peace Nazia !!!!


  • Ravmon
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:33PM

    A name that will never be forgotten.Recommend

  • Wajib
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:41PM

    Zoheb speaks for all music lovers of the nation – no fan of hers will ever reconcile to Nazia’s demise so early in life. She was gifted the most delicate sense of music and a most ethereal voice by Allah’s grace. A real hero and source of pride for every Pakistani.

    May he and the rest of the family find solace in the knowledge that her songs are cherished by millions and she lives on in a million hearts through her songs – just see the dedications and comments for her songs on youtube and know that she is a source of joy and inspiration to fans so many years after her demise.


  • Truth Detector
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:56PM

    We all miss her, may Allah rest her soul !!!


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:22PM

    Only Al-Mighty Allah knows as why did she became a cancer patient.

    Late Nazia belongs to well to do family and no body knows about her personal life after her secret marriage with a business tycoon who later also became a media person as how Nazia was kept by her husband after the marriage.

    Probably, Nazia would have regretted after her marriage and due to depression and continuous thinking about the future, should would have developed the deadly disease of cancer.

    May Al-Mighty Allah rest her soul in peace. Ameen.


  • Sajjad
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:10PM

    Nazia….a living legend of all time. She’s unforgetable. Gifted with the touching and melodious voice! Proud of her being Pakistani


  • Lahori
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:47PM

    Rest in peace and may her family have patience


  • Mr T
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Nation’s sweetheart… May Allah forgive all her sins and grant her a place in paradise…


  • Mirza
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Get a hold boy.


  • moeed
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:40AM

    a true legend of pakistan


  • A K
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:50AM

    forgive or forget? weird headline


  • sensible
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:04AM

    she was beautiful, elegant and a wonderful singer. I started listening her songs recently and they are so simple yet mesmerizing. I heard from my parents that she was a heartthrob of millions!


  • Sid
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:34AM

    She had Metastatic ovarian cancer dear ET. Get your facts straight you are a newspaper for gods sake.


  • Malaiz
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:44AM

    Zoheb, you are not alone in this. We share your grief. Nazia and you were mega stars in Afghanistan in 80s where I got to listen to your songs. She touched the hearts of millions and will never be forgotten. RIP, Queen of Pop.


  • karma
    Aug 13, 2012 - 8:51AM

    As a school going kid in a small village in Kerala (deep south India), back in 1981, I was presented a cassette of Nazia hasan by a uncle from Mumbai. I fell in love with that voice, and heard that album a few thousand times. I didn’t know who Nazia Hassan was, or that she was a Pakistani. But, I can still recall each and every song of that album ‘disco deewane’. I only heard her other songs a few years later.

    She had an amazing quality in voice. Later in life I learnt that she was a great humanitarian too. But, that was after I read about her demise.

    It is such a cruel thing that we are all denied of the presence & contributions of such a great talent and soul.

    RIP pop princess.


  • Frustrated
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:27AM



  • rahma mahmood
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:35AM

    May allah forgive all her sins……….. ameen…she was the pride of Pakistan….and unluckily we lost the star…


  • rahma mahmood
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:38AM

    she was the true legend of pakistan…


  • pqr
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:40AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    Depression does not cause cancer! How do people make up things like this on their own…


  • Missed
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:47AM

    The more I listen to her the more I miss her. She was a true legend.


  • mehwish syed
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:43PM

    may her soul rest in peace…


  • Asad Sami
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:01PM

    More than a star or a pop icon she was a beautiful person and a pure soul who rendered her humble and humane services for the eradication of social evils from the society e.g. drugs etc. May Allah accept her work and reward her accordingly.


  • Aug 13, 2012 - 1:08PM

    Rest in peace……


  • sami
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:26PM

    She is no more here but her work is alive after her death.


  • Naveed Javed
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:57PM

    She was a pleasant sensation; May her soul rests in Peace!


  • Debraj
    Aug 13, 2012 - 4:51PM

    The article took me back to my growing up years in which Nazia / Zoheb’s tracks were an endible part of !!! They had created absolute magic with thier music throughout the world !!!Made my nostalgic .. and sad :( May her soul rest in peace!!!


  • resilient
    Aug 13, 2012 - 5:08PM

    a prodigy and everliving celeberity.


  • Pak1
    Aug 13, 2012 - 5:13PM

    Nazia Hassan, the Princess Diana of Pakistan. RIP.


  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Aug 13, 2012 - 7:28PM

    How sad ! She died too young…….extremely talented young lady! May God bless her soul!!!


  • asim
    Aug 13, 2012 - 8:16PM

    *evergreen talent and personality


  • Pakistani Agnostic (Riyadh)
    Aug 13, 2012 - 8:26PM

    One word: LEGEND.


  • Hassan
    Aug 13, 2012 - 8:44PM

    I don’t know whether to curse her former husband or feel sorry for him for mistreating a gem.


  • banty
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:20PM

    My favourite singer nazia hassan.


  • IM the Dim.
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:52PM

    grow up.


  • Mwaqar
    Aug 13, 2012 - 10:45PM

    She was a great singer,A LEGEND WHO NEVER DIED IN THE HEARTS OF.HER FANS….!!!!


  • Abdul Mateen
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:09PM

    Please correct headline

    I will never forget her instead of I will never forgive her.


  • Aug 14, 2012 - 5:31AM

    Guys, read the quote. He does say he will never forgive her.

    “I would tell her I can’t keep pace
    with you. But she never told me she
    was going to die so soon,” he said. “I
    will never forgive her for this.”


  • iconoclast
    Aug 14, 2012 - 1:30PM

    @ET, For God’s sake plz correct the title… it shud be forget instead of forgive.. or this has been purposely done to attract more hits???


  • Danish Batool
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:45PM

    Indeed a great loss ever for Pakistan…
    May Allah rest her soul in peace ameen


  • Ali
    Aug 14, 2012 - 8:34PM

    She died in pain but I hope and pray that Allah grants her peace in the hereafter. She had a voice like none other. May Allah rest her soul in peace.Recommend

  • antanu g
    Aug 15, 2012 - 3:49AM

    nazia was responsible for changing pop music scene in indis.may GOD rest her in peace.Recommend

  • Saadia Qamar
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:22PM

    @ Dear All, thank you for all your comments. There is nothing wrong with the title, it was something said, and it was quoted as it is….rest be assured, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It has nothing to do with getting hits or amiss! Thanks


  • HH
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:46PM

    RIP Nazia….


  • Salman
    Aug 15, 2012 - 5:50PM

    “Forgive” for not letting him know she will be leaving him soon. Whats the problem people there is nothing wrong in the title.


  • Ali
    Aug 16, 2012 - 10:48PM

    Nazia was a beautiful person inside out.
    her songs make me teary eyed…. i used to listen to her song “thali de thale/kariye pyar diyan gallaan” on ptv as a kid… and other songs too…. i dunno why i still can not accept her death! she is a true pakistani star, a true legend. God Bless her soul. ameen


  • K.L.Saraf
    Sep 3, 2012 - 5:02PM

    i am a true fan of Nazia Didi from 1980s ,she lives in my hart trulyRecommend

  • K.L.Saraf
    Sep 3, 2012 - 5:20PM

    i Am Fan of Nazia Didi From 1980 when my age is only 6 years , She always live in my Hart forever.


  • Dr Amit Bhalla
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:08PM

    I am 39 years old and remember those early 80s when my Chachu brought on an HMV record of Disco Deewane-the whole day that album used to play in our household with some soulful voice of Nazia. This has stuck in my memory bigtime (I being around 6-7 years old then).
    Then as we grew up and became more involved in career/studies, could not keep a track of Nazia and Zohaib. It was last week I saw in a press release that Disco Deewane would be featuring in a new Bollywood movie. That was a drive to dwell into my favourite album one more time, and now that internet being there, I downloaded all my favourite Nazia numbers. I also browsed net for information on Nazia and believe you me I got shock of my life hearing of her demise a decade back. I could not just hold back tears. I am aghast. She had a soulful quality to her voice. Some of the best Pop numbers are credited to her. I still am unable to come to terms with this sad fact that Nazia is no more. Truely a Legend of Global Pop music. Could I get contact email of Zohaib Hassan?
    We are blessed to have been born in an era graced by Hassan duo!


  • Dr Amit Bhalla
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:32PM

    Just heard an interview of Zoheb-comes across as a rooted, gentleman. Hats off to the parents of Zoheb and Nazia, their upbringing and values have given Gems to our generation.

    They are Jewels of Pakistan and its neighbours (like we Indians) are proud of their legacy. Rest in peace Nazia!


  • Dinesh Kumar
    Sep 30, 2012 - 3:15PM

    I first heard her in 1980 when I was 10 years old and I was so fond of her voice at that age. Her voice was so different and beautiful. I’m so proud to own all of there albums. In 2000, when I heard she past away. I was so heartbroken. Anyway may Nazia rest in peace. Lol to the Hassan family:)


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