Monday, January 29, 2024

Exclusive — King Charles' charity disassociates itself from Rahat after violence video

"British Asian Trust has a strict policy towards abusive behaviour," says charity

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (left) with his student, Naveed Hasnain, in this still taken from a video. — Instagram/@officialrfakworld
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (left) with his student, Naveed Hasnain, in this still taken from a video. — Instagram/@officialrfakworld

  • British Asian Trust says it has strict policy towards abusive behaviour.
  • Rahat's video went viral of slapping and assaulting a band member.
  • Famous singer had apologised for his behaviour later on, says student.

LONDON: British Asian Trust has said it will no longer be associated with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan after the singer’s video went viral showing him slapping and assaulting a band member.

A spokesman of the anti-violence British Asian Trust which, founded by King Charles III, told Geo News that it decided to cease association with Rahat after reviewing the video.

A spokesman of the Trust told this reporter: “The British Asian Trust has a strict policy towards abusive behaviour and has ceased any association with Mr Khan. We strongly condemn any form of violence whatever the circumstances.”

The Trust issued a statement over the weekend saying: "We take all accusations of abuse seriously and we will look into this urgently."

The footage shows Rahat attacking a band member with slaps, kicks and even his shoes, while the person pleaded with him to stop. The attack happened in Houston, Texas, last year.

Taking the seriousness of the matter into account, Rahat responded to the controversy on Saturday night and issued a clarification that the matter was not the same in reality as apparent in the video.

Meanwhile, the man, who is said to be his student, said that the “bottle” mentioned in the viral video contained the water given by the spiritual leader which he had misplaced.

“He is [like] my father, my teacher. God knows how much he loves us. Whoever has done this, is simply blackmailing my teacher to defame him,” he added.

"The video is an internal matter of a teacher and a student. We do love a student over a good deed, as well as punish him if he commits a mistake," the star singer said in a video statement issued on his official Instagram account.

"I forgot a bottle of water which was given by my pir (spiritual healer). I also apologised to my student at the same time," he said referring to the "student" as Naveed Husnain.

In a separate video, Husnain said that Rahat had apologised to him for whatever happened between them due to which, he was now "embarrassed". He further stated that Rahat is his teacher and "can do whatever he wants" with him.

Rahat has also met King Charles as the trust's ambassador. It was founded by Charles in 2007 to tackle poverty and build community relations.

He is considered the greatest living singer of a genre of music famous in Pakistan called Qawwali, which has its origins in the poetry and music of Islamic mystics, known as Sufis.

King Charles (then Prince Charles) had appointed Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khanas ambassador of the British Asian Trust at the trust's fourth annual dinner at the Guildhall here in February 2017.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who is the President of the trust, made the announcement. More than 450 supporters and ambassadors of the organisation, including the Duchess of Cornwall, had attended the event and helped raise £850,000 to support the trust and its projects in South Asia. 

The trust runs many projects in South Asian countries. Rahat Fateh Ali performed before the audience and won praise. Other notable Pakistanis currently part of the Trust include prominent industrialists Mian Mansha from Lahore and Lord Zameer Chaudhry from London.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan had said: "I am delighted that the Prince of Wales announced that I will be working closely with the British Asian Trust as an ambassador to further support their work in transforming lives across South Asia."