Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Rahat issues profuse public apology to fans, family and music industry over 'torture' video

Legendary singer auspicates release of “more planted, fabricated videos” in "deliberate attempts" to defame him

Pakistans legendary Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in this undated photos taken from videos. — Supplied
Pakistan's legendary Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in this undated photos taken from videos. — Supplied

LONDON: Internationally acclaimed singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has tendered an emotional apology after facing huge backlash over his viral videos cruelly beating a band member in a Houston hotel.

“I recorded this special message to apologise to everyone,” Pakistan’s music maestro said in his latest video, adding: “I am bowing my head before my creator the Allah Almighty to seek pardon from him first of all. I should not behave like this as a human being, and especially as an artist. The behaviour that I displayed is not right and I apologise for that. I beg your forgiveness. I apologise to my fans and friends.”

Admitting his mistake for his inhumane treatment which was caught on camera, Khan said that his family was associated with the Qawwali art for the last 600 years which hails the message of love, peace and brotherhood.

Rahat said in the apology video: “My fans are deeply hurt by my behaviour and I apologise to all of them but first of all to Allah. I want to apologise to all of my family members, close friends, and especially my fans whose sentiments were hurt. I will not repeat this mistake ever again.

The singer, known for the greatest qawwalis of all time, expressed his regret at his abusive conduct. He also said that he took the flood of criticism positively which made him realise his mistake and he also respected those who boycotted him to teach him a lesson for his own good.

“People don’t want to see their artist like this. I truly apologise for my deed.”

Rahat pointed out that a “gang” was making deliberate attempts to defame him and planned to release “more videos”.

The singer said: “The leaked video is nine months old. I have no idea how many videos they have made without my permission. This gang plans to release more videos.”

The music genius said: “It wasn’t a coincidence that my videos surfaced following a press conference I held in Lahore,” Khan said while pointing fingers at his press statement last week to part ways with globally acclaimed music and concert producer Salman Ahmed who managed the musician for 12 years. Salman Ahmed has denied having any involvement.

Khan said that the attempts to defame him would fail as he would continue to sing, however, he felt sorry “only for this action”. He also predicted that some “planted and fabricated videos” could be released in the coming days.

Khan said that the leakage of videos has served as a wake-up call for him. “It’s through this leakage that I have realised that I was wrong and this has served as a wakeup call. Those who boycotted booted me are right and I respect their anger. I will reform and change myself and I will never do this again.”

In the concluding remarks, he also apologised to his co-artists, female artists, the music industry and his music directors.

The singer found himself at the centre of a grave controversy after a short video clip of him violently beating a man, who is said to be his "student", went viral on social media Saturday night.

The highly graphic video made rounds on social media and #RahatFatehAliKhan became a top trend on microblogging site X in Pakistan.

The video sent shockwaves through the music industry and on social media as the netizens questioned Rahat's conduct and raised concerns about 'substance' abuse.

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

The artist, who is the nephew of Qawwali king Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, shared multiple videos on Instagram containing similar clarifications about the matter.

Bearing the brunt of his violent video, the anti-violence British Asian Trust, founded by King Charles III, announced it would no longer be associated with Khan after the singer’s video went viral showing him slapping and assaulting a band member.

The issue surfaced after The News and Geo exclusively reported last week that Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali had parted ways from his manager of 12 years – Salman Ahmed.

At a press conference in Lahore, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan had announced that his Pakistan company RFAK will merge into NRK which is being managed by his wife Nida Khan, her US-based brother Baqa Burki who runs a transport business, his cousin Maroof Ali Khan, Asher Anwar and Raja Umair Hussain.