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Nazia Hassan was poisoned to death by her husband: Zohaib Hassan

In a recent interview, Pakistani pop icon Nazia Hassan's brother Zohaib Hassan reveals that she was poisoned to death by her ex-husband Mirza Ishtiaq Baig. However, Mirza Ishtiaq has denied all allegations and claimed that he will file a defamation case of Rs. 1 billion against Zohaib Hassan.

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Singer Zohaib Hassan, has unleashed a fulminating media debate by accusing prominent businessman Mirza Ishtiaq Baig of allegedly poisoning his sister Nazia Hassan to death.

Both Zohaib and Ishtiaq Baig are being interviewed by Pakistani media channels where they, taking turns, are making wild allegations against each other. Every new accusation is more sensational than the previous. Ironically all this is happening 21 years after Nazia’s death. She died, apparently, of a cancer relapse in London, on 13th August 2000.

Nazia Hassan lived short but with huge impact

Nazia Hassan was among the finest singers of Pakistan who rose to fame during the 1980s. She died young but her short life was a like a flame and her magical voice, her youthful looks, and her charismatic personality took her to cross borders into India where she sung hit songs in the Bollywood movies. Her debut song, “Aap Jesa Koi meri Zindagi mein ayay tu baat ban jai” took India and Pakistan and South Asian diasporas across the UK, Europe, North America and Middle East by storm and sold more than 70 million records in a short time.

Nazia’s blockbuster song, “Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi Mai Aye, tu baat ban jaye” featured Feroze Khan and Parveen Bobi in the movie Qurbani released in 1980. Her album Disco Deewane (1981) was praised in fourteen countries worldwide and became the best-selling Asian pop record at the time. She enjoyed widespread popularity in South Asia and Southeast Asia. The singer even associated with reputed organizations like UNICEF for various projects.

Dubbed as ‘Queen of pop’, entire India, and Pakistan danced to her songs. Her songs even topped the music charts in the UK as well. Extremely talented, Nazia Hassan married renowned businessman, Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, in 1995. This marriage apparently turned out to be one of the most painful experiences for the singer, as stated in several media records and by her family. Family sources – her mother and brother – allege that the couple had separated after five years of marriage and Nazia was divorced. This is something her husband Ishtiaq Baig disputes.

Read more: THROWBACK: Young PM Imran talks sports, politics with pop star Nazia Hassan

Nazia was poisoned to death: Zohaib Hassan, brother alleges

Her brother Zohaib Hassan in a latest TV interview, on 12th August, timed with her 21st death anniversary, has again levelled serious allegations against the businessman for killing his sister. He said the poison, apparently arsenic, was allegedly mixed in tea or food. According to Zohaib Hassan, Nazia claimed to have been poisoned while recording her statement to the lawyer of the UK court and Scotland Yard.

Zohaib Hassan said, in his main tv interview, and since then in several small tv interviews (on ARY and GEO break fast programs) that Nazia had told him that she had fears of being given arsenic. He even brought to the public the divorce deed of Nazia Hassan. As per the details, she had one of her ovaries removed after she developed ovarian cancer. She was in remission when she returned to her husband. According to Zohaib Hassan, she was cured of cancer.

Soon after, she developed throat cancer, allegedly due to the intake of arsenic. Her throat cancer surprised doctors, said Hassan in the interview. He added that before her death, Nazia Hassan was unable to speak. And this adds complexity to the whole story.

Zohaib said that Nazia Hassan was extremely unhappy with her marriage and was in constant pain, emotional and mental trauma due to the ill-treatment of her husband, Ishtiaq Baig. It seems like she was fighting with two cancers- her marriage and her illness, Zohaib Hassan quoted Nazia Hassan as saying to him.

She has submitted a nine-page testimony that is stamped by the British High Court, says Zohaib Hassan. In the testimony, she had categorically refused to live with Mirza Ishtiaq Baig further. She wanted to end her marriage. According to Zohaib Hassan, her divorce was already finalized in Pakistan. Her divorce deed has been stamped by Pakistan High Commission as well.

 

Zohaib Hassan added that she was buried five months after her death due to an investigation underway. Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, however, was released on the benefit of the doubt. The singer’s brother, however, vows, to reopen the case, in Pakistan, and pursue it till its logical end. Zohaib and his mother, Mrs. Basir, mostly live in the UK.

Nazia’s husband Mirza Ishtiaq Baig denies the allegation

On the other hand, Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, who has also appeared on morning tv programs, has denied the allegations of poisoning Nazia Hassan. He called it a libellous campaign against him by Zohaib and his mother, Muneeza Basir. Baig argues that Nazia had first developed cancer in 1992, she achieved remission with treatment but cancer relapsed after their marriage in 1995. He argues that Nazia was being treated in London hospitals till her death. He also say’s that he is traveling at this time but is in touch with his lawyers and will file a defamation case of Rs. 1 billion against Zohaib Hassan.

Read more: PSL to pay tribute to Nazia Hassan in closing ceremony

Baig said that Zohaib and mother were against his love marriage with Nazia Hassan. And when Nazia gave up singing following her marriage it adversely affected the career of Zohaib Hassan who was emotionally dependent upon Nazia and could not sing without her. Hence, he continues to make baseless allegations against him out of vengeance and these resurface each year around her death annivesary. Baig added that Nazia Hassan was legally his wife till her death, as shown in the death certificate issued by the UK.

Ishtiaq Baig says he dearly loved his wife and did not marry again after her death. Baig in his statement added that he had approached for the custody of their son, Arez, but the UK courts asked him to submit an undertaking that he will be living with his son in the UK. Arez is a British citizen and this was a legal requirement as per British law for custody. He gave up the custody since he could not continuously live in the UK – but he had visiting rights to his son. Nazia’s son must be at least 21 years by now.

GVS team developed this story from TV News and consider this a developing story – News Editor