Pakistan’s singing sensation Atif Aslam was trolled on social media and also criticized by the country’s mainstream media for singing a popular Bollywood song at a Pakistan Independence Day function in New York.
The performance prompted many of his fans back home to question his patriotism and also hit out at him.
“Zero respect for Atif Aslam!” wrote a twitter user.
After the much-heated debate on Twitter, the 35-year-old singer responded to the uproar in a long Instagram post, saying that hopefully things will change in a “Naya” (new) Pakistan.
“Simply love my haters. Undoubtedly, Allah is the only one who can make someone worthy of respect or not. The Pakistani flag is my identity and my fans know that I respect it a lot. I’m glad that my fans know how to deal with fake propaganda against me,” he said.
Atif hoped that “Naya Pakistan” can help people realise that they need to respect others, especially those who work hard everyday to make the country proud.
Earlier, Pakistani classical singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, who has also lent his voice to some Indian songs, had defended Atif.
“I stand in support of Atif Aslam for singing his songs at the parade. Music is not Indian or Pakistani. It’s just music. Singers are synonymous with their songs which are loved equally by fans from every country,” Ali said.
Film critic Omair Alavi said people need to remember that Bollywood films and dramas are shown openly in Pakistan in cinemas and on television channels as art, film or music has no boundaries.
“Don’t Pakistanis go to watch Indian films? Are not Indian dramas a regular on our channels,” he questioned.