KARACHI: Former pop singer Ali Haider, who now only sings devotional music, held a press conference on Tuesday at the Karachi Press Club, refuting claims that he had criticised the discipline of music.
“Since last year a rumour has been circulating that I criticised music, but that is not correct. I have certainly said no to singing but the 20 years of fame that I received was through singing, so how can I criticise that field? I am not against singing, I thought I could serve well if I performed ‘hamd-o-sanaa’.”
About his most recent album titled Mehrban Mehrban, Haider said,” I have dedicated this album to the flood victims of the country.”
Haider also lambasted Pakistani politicians and leaders. He said, “Where does all the (relief fund) money go … this happened during the earthquake and now the floods.” But in the same undertone he said, “Not all politicians are bad.”
Haider revealed that he had been offered to appear on the Indian version of “Fear Factor”, which is being hosted by Bollywood actor and model Priyanka Chopra.
“I was offered the role but after consultation with friends I declined it. Firstly, I have no thirst for stardom any longer nor do I have an urge to play a lead opposite an Indian actor.”
Haider is also following Junaid Jamshed’s footsteps and launching a clothing line for women. The name – Qarar – is the same as one of his most prominent music albums. “People remember me because of Qarar and I believe women get pure satisfaction after they get to wear good clothes, so yes the collection is named after that. Likewise, if I launch a jeans collection I will title it ‘Purani Jeans’.”
His store opens this Thursday at Dolmen Mall on Karachi’s Tariq Road.
About following Junaid Jamshed he said, “Who in this day and age stops working in music, which lets you earn a good amount of cash, but yes he was the first Pakistani to do so, and I would proudly like to say that I am the second Pakistani moving in the same direction.”
Haider, who also criticised President Asif Ali Zardari, was asked by media personnel about his comments. “Look at every TV channel that is criticising the leadership and leaving us to our own devices. Don’t they know that they too will become part of the dust one day, as all mankind will? I believe that these past 10 to 20 years have been bad for Pakistan otherwise we were doing really well. “
When asked why he decided to venture into clothing, Haider said, “There is a lot of benefit in this business. Young people have often followed my footsteps and this is just one launch. I plan to open a restaurant soon as well.”