KARACHI: You may hate him or love him, but you can’t ignore him. Truer words have never been said about Waqar Zaka. He has been under the spotlight more for his controversial statements than for his contributions to the industry.
Finally though, after being MIA for over a year, Waqar Zaka has opened up to The Express Tribune about his own contributions towards the industry.
He did not hesitate to call out television content and the public for hypocrisy towards TV programming. “There is no concept of ‘religiously sinful’ when it comes to showbiz. You can’t dance on a stage and pray to God for blessings at the same time.”
Waqar was quick to defend his own role in showbiz. “I brought new ideas to the industry. From Living on the Edge to Xposed, my shows were all later on copied by both local and international media,” Waqar told The Express Tribune. “I am not the one who is saying it, Hindustan Times also acknowledged this,” he added.
He insisted that Living on the Edge was his brainchild, and that it was a genuine trendsetter in Pakistan as well as internationally. “Living on the Edge was my idea and even MTV Roadies copied it from us.”
The show had a very successful eight season run, starting out as a road show and later transforming into a reality show, garnering both national and international acclaim before it was terminated two years ago over what Waqar termed a “friendly disagreement”.
There is little chance of the show returning to the air-waves. “I parted ways with the channel because I wanted to shift the show from the music channel to the entertainment channel which the authorities didn’t approve of,” Waqar explained.
Talking further about his role in the entertainment industry, he said, “I am the reason why some people now rule the entertainment industry. I launched Urwa Hocane with my show VJ Hunt, and now you see her in all these movies and dramas,” he said.
Waqar also talked about his show Desi Kuriyan, a reality show which required female contestants from urban areas of the country to spend a fortnight in the village accomplishing given tasks. “I did not want to do Desi Kuriyan, it tarnished my image quite a lot. People would blame me for promoting values against our culture through the show. They even had issues with me being the only male host amid 12 contestants.”
Waqar also revealed that he was the first choice to host Jeeto Pakistan (now hosted by Fahad Mustafa it’s similar to Aamir Liaquat’s Inaam Ghar) but he declined. “I cannot copy Aamir Liaquat, it’s not my genre.”
Talking further about his recent ventures, Waqar said he recently held a festival at the palace of late Saudi King Abdullah’s granddaughter, Princess Zeniya Al Saud, in which he had invited members of the royal family to take part in various dares.
However, he confessed that he had no plans to be back on-screen for now, “I am in a phase where I want to explore the world and bring more ideas to the dying industry.”
Waqar also debunked rumours about him dating Sanam Jung. “This is the worst gossip I have heard. I have never even met Sanam, and the social media has created these baseless rumours. I am single, not dating anyone. It is important that I clarify this because ‘her respect is getting destroyed’.”