The much-hyped and controversial ‘Mika Singh Night’ at the plush Karachi bungalow of billionaire businessman Adnan Asad on August 8 had VIP guests which reportedly included family members of India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ebrahim.
Asad, a cousin of former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, had hosted ‘Mika Singh Night’ on the occasion of the ‘Mehendi’ pre-wedding ceremony of his daughter Scellina, at 23, Beach Avenue, Phase VIII of Defence House Authority (DHA), a place not very far from where D-company members Anees Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel reside in Karachi.
A senior journalist associated with a leading Karachi daily said that Asad, a small-time tissue paper manufacturer, rose to become a prominent industrialist during his cousin Musharraf’s tenure. Asad has also been closely associated with top erstwhile cricketers, including now Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas.
Due to his closeness to the prime minister, Asad succeeded in procuring visas for Singh and his 14-member troupe, and went on to host the Bollywood night on August 8 in Karachi, despite a blanket ban by the Pakistan government on shows performed by any Indian artists or film personalities. The journalist revealed that besides top bureaucrats, army and police officials, family of star cricketers, including Miandad’s, were also invited to the show which began after midnight. Miandad’s son Junaid is married to Dawood’s daughter Mahrukh.
The journalist acknowledged Miandad’s relations with Dawood Ibrahim but avoided answering any further queries related to whereabouts of D-Company boss or his nexus with the Pakistan establishment.
Owner of the multi-billion Venus Group, Asad’s Facebook profile boasts of his closeness with star cricketers and army top brass. Former chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Ahmed Shuja Pasha also happens to be on his selective friend list. During Pasha’s tenure as head of the spy agency, ISI-backed Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out the 26/11 Mumbai attack in 2008 in which 174 people, including foreign citizens, were killed and over 300 injured.
Indian intelligence sources in New Delhi did confirm Asad’s association with Pakistan army officers and cricketers including Miandad but had no clue about his proximity with Dawood’s family members.
Due to Eid holidays, Asad’s office at Hawkesbay Road, Mauripur, seemed to be closed as several phone calls were not responded to.
Singh’s gig in Karachi went viral on social media on Saturday when some guests leaked video clips on Twitter. On both sides of the border, critics disapproved the entertainment spectacle amid escalating tension between the two countries.
Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah of the Pakistan People’s Party, said the government must find out who gave the security clearance and visas to Singh at a time when the country had suspended diplomatic and trade relations with India.
On the Indian front, journalists and politicians across both sides of the divide, pulled up the Indian singer for picking the wrong venue and date to perform.