This story has been updated with a correction on August 14, 2021.
On August 13, it will be exactly 21 years since Nazia Hassan, often dubbed Queen of Pop, passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 35 at the time of her death in the United Kingdom.
Now her brother and music partner, Zoheb Hassan, has come forward with serious allegations made against her husband Ishtiaq Baig based on what Nazia recorded as her statement and 10-page testimony given at North London Hospice.
"Scotland Yard has taken it as a case. And this ex-husband of hers, I do not want to take his name because his name really [affects] me. That person detained her, in the UK," said Zoheb in an interview to SAMAA TV. "Scotland Yard investigated for five months, and held Nazia's body. Nazia said that when she was living with him, he took some arsenic [pills/material] and gave it to her in some food. Now I do not know this. This is Nazia's own testimony. This is written clearly in it." (Clarification: The originally published story of the interview dated August 12, 2021 has been amended to make clearer that Zoheb Hassan was quoting from Nazia's statement when he mentions the allegations. This story reflects the change.)
Baig denies the allegations.
One of her ovaries was removed after she developed ovarian cancer, said Zoheb.
"This person said you will be more valuable to me dead. He said this when she had cancer. He would fight with her all the time. He treated her very badly. The pictures he is putting up are from the early days. The first one or two months when he behaved like a human. After that he changed [his entire demeanor]. After changing, all kinds of filth, he said that [stuff]."
She was in remission when she went back to her husband, he said. They went to Morocco and Thailand and she returned coughing blood. Soon she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and her doctor was puzzled, Zoheb added.
"Nazia told me, 'He has given me so much grief. I am about to die. And before I die I will ensure I divorce him… She went to the Pakistan High Commission herself, she could barely walk, there was no hair on her head [from cancer]. She went there and put her signature (thappa) on it, wrote it down, talaaq."
Marrying her off to Baig was our biggest mistake, he said.
Ishtiaq Baig to take Zoheb Hassan to court
Nazia Hassan's husband Ishtiaq Baig has announced he will take Zoheb Hassan to court and sue him for Rs1 billion for defamation.
He appeared on SAMAA TV's show 7 se 8 on Thursday evening.
Baig said Nazia was the love of his life and they married despite her being diagnosed with cancer. I still love her, said Baig.
He denied Zoheb's claim that they got divorced. I was her husband till her death, he said.
Baig claimed that Nazia's family had a fake divorce certificate made. Nazia's death certificate gives details of how she died and it mentions me as her husband, he said.
The News reported on August 14, 2021 that the Scotland Yard investigation had reached the conclusion that no foul play was involved in the singer's death. Nazia Hassan died on Aug 13, 2000, but the authorities released her body five months later on Jan 9, 2001.
Nazia Hassan's father asked for £1 million for child custody
Baig said that Nazia's father came to him and asked him for £1 million. Her father said we will give you custody if you give us the money, he said.
Nazia established a trust in her name and made a lot of money.
Baig said that problems in their marriage started after she stopped performing after the wedding. It ended Zoheb's career and that's when our relations started deteriorating, he said.
Zoheb Hassan was an active MQM worker, Baig said. He became an advisor to then Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ebad.
Baig said he bore all the expenses of Nazia's treatment.
If Nazia had not insisted on having children then she might have been alive today and recovered from lung cancer, Baig said.