Karachi, Jan 17 : Following threatening phone calls, Pakistani pop singer Ali Haider is learnt to have turned down a Bollywood film offer wherein he was to play the lead role of a Kashmiri boy called Osama, who travels to Afghanistan, falls in love with a Afghan girl, and ends up at the World Trade Centre at the time of 9/11 attacks.
Without revealing the nature of the threat, he said, "In circumstances when an important person like Benazir Bhutto cannot have adequate security, what will happen to someone like me?" The Pakistani pop singer had flown to Mumbai last year to have an idea about the film script, and finally signed the contract in December. By revoking his contract under fear of being killed, and also for the safety of his family members, he has reportedly suffered a net loss of nearly one crore Pakistani rupees.
Haider said that some fanatics in Pakistan, who perhaps made the threatening phone calls, were under the impression that he was to have played the role of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
He added that actually the film was a love story meant to change the image of the Pakistani people. "It was to show the world the other side of the coin. I felt it was my responsibility as a Muslim. But I have to look after a family of which I am the sole bread-winner," the BBC quoted him as saying in Karachi.
He further said that his family began receiving threatening calls in November, when he first went to India to discuss the project. "I did not think much about the threats then; it was an important project for me. I was being given the lead role and 40 percent rights in Pakistan and the Middle East. So I went back to Mumbai to read the script. The contract was signed in December."
"They know everything about my movements; when I am at the jogging track, or when I am in the gym," he further said.