Singer Mika Singh has apologised to the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) following a recent performance in Pakistan.
The All India Cine Workers Association (AICWA) and FWICE had banned Singh from working in India after he performed at the wedding of a relative of former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf in Karachi. Singh’s presence became known after pictures and videos of his performance appeared on social media.
Interacting with the media in Mumbai, the singer said he had to do it owing to a prior commitment.
“This was a commitment signed long back. The timing was wrong that I went there because the decision on Article 370 has just been taken. I called the federation and told them that this was a mistake. I apologise for the mistake and I won’t repeat it again. I got a visa, so I went [to Pakistan]. If you get a visa, you will go, too,” said Singh, while interacting with the media along with chief adviser of FWICE, Ashoke Pandit, and the body’s president, BN Tiwari, on Wednesday in Mumbai.
The media, however, started countering Singh with questions, which resulted in a heated argument.
“Do you [media] know that [Indian singer] Neha Kakkar and [Pakistani singer] Atif Alsam performed here only two months ago? Do you know that [Indian singer] Sonu Nigam also performed together with Atif four months ago? Why did no one say anything then? When I do something, the media talks about it to grab headlines. You want me to get angry so that you can show it on your news channels and [publish it in] the newspapers,” he said.
Announcing that the ban on Singh was now being lifted, Pandit said: “We were in shock that Mika performed in Pakistan ... Such an approach on part of Indian artists is not acceptable. However, we are now taking back the circular to ban Mika Singh.”
Tiwari said: “We had issued the letter to ban Mika Singh but Mika wrote back to us saying he wanted to be heard. He said he regrets that the timing of the event and his visit to Pakistan was not right. We had a meeting and heard Mika’s version.”
Tiwari added that FWICE stood firm on its decision of banning Pakistani artists from working in Bollywood.