Pakistani singer Atif Aslam has announced that he was leaving to perform Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims. But he also chose the occasion to condemn the Indian government’s move to do away with Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Taking to his social media page, Atif wrote, “Happy to share something very big with all of you. Inshallah I’ll be leaving soon for the most important journey of my life.” The popular singer, who’s also given voice to many hit songs in Bollywood films, sought everyone’s forgiveness as he wrote, “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.”
Atif Aslam concluded his post by criticising the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir, where prominent local politicians including two former chief ministers were arrested by the Indian authorities. Atif wrote, “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.”
Atif Aslam’s post came on a day when the Indian parliament gave its approval to the government’s Bill on the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and removal of Article 370 that gave special status to the state.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader, Farooq Abdullah, had broken down during a TV interview alleging house arrest by the central government. Abdullah had accused Home Minister Amit Shah of lying in the parliament on his whereabouts. Shah had repeatedly told the parliament that Abdullah had chosen not to attend the parliament of his own free will. But the veteran Kashmiri leader later said that the Indian home minister was lying since he was kept in detention in his own house forcibly by the security personnel.