Pakistani singer Atif Aslam joined a host of Pakistani artistes who have spoken against India’s move to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and making Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into Union Territories. The singer who has sung popular numbers in Bollywood films “strongly condemned” the “violence and tyranny being conducted against the Kashmiris”.
Atif wrote in his tweet, “Happy to share something very big with all of you. Inshallah I’ll be leaving soon for the most important journey of my life. Before departing for Hajj, I would like to ask for everyone’s forgiveness, be it fans, family, friends. Apologies for hurting anyone’s sentiments. kindly keep me in your prayers Also I strongly condemn the violence and tyranny being conducted against the Kashmiris. May Allah bless lives of the innocent in #Kashmir and all over the world.”
Twitter was quick with the backlash. Several users asked him to stay positive, saying it is the best move for the Valley. One user wrote, “And please don’t fall for any propagandas.A good decision has been taken for better future of kashmiris. They are indians. They are us. They will be protected. Let them cry for losing kashmir (as a land and resources, they don’t care about kashmiris ) Kashmir has suffered.”
Another user wrote, “What is the need to raise Kashmir issue before pilgrimage, ask your government to handle Pakistan properly first. Do you seriously think your government deserve Kashmir…Kashmir was and will be part of this great country.”
Atif has had some of most successful hits in India, and has worked with several celebs in Bollywood. Right from the chartbusters in his debut film, Zeher, to the more recent Baaghi 2 and Qarib Qarib Single, he has had a successful run in the Indian film industry. After the militant attack in Uri in 2016 that killed several Indian army jawans, Bollywood adopted a blanket ban on Pakistani artists working in the industry.
However, Atif said in a recent interview with Pakistani TV channel, Express News, “It has not made much of a difference to me.”
Earlier, actor Mahira Khan tweeted, “Have we conveniently blocked what we don’t want to address? This is beyond lines drawn on sand, it’s about innocent lives being lost! Heaven is burning and we silently weep. #Istandwithkashmir #kashmirbleeds.” She was also criticised by many on Twitter; one user said, “Why you disturb… #Kashmir in our #India,” while another remarked, “Focus on your own country.”
Actors Mawra Hocane, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Feroze Khan and others have also tweeted on the issue.