Singer Malkoo barred from leaving Pakistan to perform in UK concerts

PTI’s lawmaker Sher Afzal Marwat (centre) addressing the media in this image released on June 17, 2024. — Reporter
  • Malik had booked Punjabi singer Malkoo to perform in London.
  • Singer Sara Altaf also supposed to accompany Malkoo.  
  • Sher Afzal Marwat condemns action against singer.

LONDON: British-Pakistani businessman Liaqat Malik said that he has lost over £200,000 after the acclaimed singer Malkoo was stopped from leaving Pakistan on Eid day to perform at several shows Malik had organsied across the UK.

Malik had booked the folk-popular Punjabi singer Malkoo to perform at venues in London and outside starting June 19, 2024, but Malkoo was first stopped at the Lahore airport on Sunday (June 16) and then again on Monday (June 17). 

Singer Sara Altaf was also supposed to accompany the singer for the tour but she has not come to the UK as the tour was cancelled.

Malkoo — Muhammad Ashraf Malik — told Geo News over the phone he was not aware why his name had been added to the stop list. 

“I have sung songs for everyone. The whole country loves me for my singing. The airport staff was very respectful and told me I am on the stop list. I have sung many songs but Nak Da Koka became a big hit. It just happened. I respect everyone. I would request the authorities to look into my case and let me travel. This kind of discrimination is not nice.”

Malik had also invited PTI’s lawmaker Sher Afzal Marwat who was able to travel and arrived in London on Monday afternoon. He spoke at the press conference with Liaqat Malik near Heathrow Airport and condemned the action against Malkoo that led to the cancellation of concerts.

Marwat said the authorities have stooped to a new low by stopping Malkoo from performing in the UK.

“Eid of many people in the UK has been spoiled. Malkoo has the right to sing for anyone. There are singers who have sung for politicians from all parties — there’s nothing wrong with it. This is shameful that a singer has been punished in this way.”

Marwat appealed to the authorities to allow Malkoo to travel abroad.

Malik condemned the government’s action to stop Malkoo and Sara Altaf from singing at the UK concerts. 

Malik said: “This is a huge loss to me personally and to the community and Malkoo’s fans who were so eager to attend his shows. All our shows were sold out, I had made all payments in advance. I have lost over £200,000. It’s a complete loss. There is no way I can recover the money.”

Just before the elections in February this year, Malkoo’s two songs became instant hits — Qaeedi #804 and Nak Da Koka — in support of PTI’s imprisoned founder and former prime minister Imran Khan. 

It’s understood that some quarters have not liked the political message of these songs.

The organisers said they would re-arrange Malkoo’s concert if his name is removed from the stop list.

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