Singer Shafqat Amanat Ali apologises over Pak national anthem blunder

KARACHI: Popular Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali apologized to the nation on Sunday after a botched job of singing the national anthem in India disappointed fans back home and sparked criticism on social media.

The singer was representing Pakistan on Saturday to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Pakistan-India match at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens alongside Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, who sang the national anthem for India.

But many fans said they were let down when Shafqat sounded like he had forgotten the lyrics to the Pakistani anthem.

“I admit that there were a few audio and technical glitches that may have sounded like lyrical errors and I will surely apologise for not being able to win your praises this time,” said Shafqat in a message from his official Twitter account.

“But (I) assure you that I had by no means ‘forgotten’ our beloved Qaumi Tarana (national anthem)…If I had, neither of the people who walked up to me that day would have said that they ‘loved’ the performance,” he said, expressing disappointment at his fans for thinking he could ‘forgot’ the lines to the national anthem.

“I will still apologise though, as I do not believe that ‘apologising’ change me as an artiste or a person, but I will say that I am deeply hurt by the little faith my fellow Pakistanis have in me after all these years of living and breathing the spirit of my country into my music,” he said.

“Nonetheless, let us still keep our faith in our #MenInGreen…They are our only team!”

Shafqat is an acclaimed singer, trained in Eastern classical music and hailing from a family of legendary classical singers.

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