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Exclusive: Ishtiaq Baig told pop icon Nazia Hassan she would be worth more to him dead than alive

As brother Zoheb threatened legal action against Nazia's ex-husband Baig over reports that he wants to make a biopic on her, a source close to the family reveals how Baig mistreated Nazia even during her final days.

File photo of Nazia Hassan and Ishtiaq Baig's wedding in Karachi in 1995

Mayur Lookhar

Singer-composer and brother of late Pakistani pop icon Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, has threatened to take legal action against her ex-husband Ishtiaq Baig after reports emerged suggesting that he plans to make a biopic on the late singer.

Hassan and Baig married in 1995 in Karachi and divorced five years later. The couple reportedly parted ways just 10 days before Hassan’s death on 13 August 2000 due to cancer.

“Our family has come to know that Nazia ex-husband is trying to make a film on her life so he can feature himself and profit from her name and fame. Anyone entertaining this individual shall be duly and legally sued by our family as he has no legal right or basis to do so [sic],” Hassan tweeted on Sunday (16 September).

However, in a letter to a local Pakistani magazine, Baig has denied making any such film adding that nobody can stop him if he ever decides to make one.  

“I am too busy at the moment in my business and other engagements. However, If ever I plan to make one, I would announce it myself proudly and being her husband nobody can stop me from doing so." Pakistani news website quoted Baig from the magazine.

Today (19 September), in another tweet, Zoheb has claimed that Baig has no legal rights to make any film on Nazia. 

“His statements are as false and divisive as himself always trying to create a delusion in public that he is still married to our beloved Nazia so he can keep on gaining from her name and somehow eradicate how he mistreated her to her very last days..(Hassan Family)," Zoheb wrote. 

Requesting anonymity, a source close to the family informed us that Baig had made Nazia suffer through their marriage and that Nazia divorced him a few days before her death so that their son, Arez, could be kept away from him. “Baig made Nazia suffer a lot of pain and mental anguish throughout her marriage. Even when she was suffering from cancer, he tormented her enough that during illness she was compelled to file for divorce. She played along for the sake of her son, but when she found out she was going to die she wanted her so far from him,” said the source.

The source, too, questioned the real motive behind Baig's ambition of making the film, saying, “He only wants to do the film so he can be featured as a hero in it and he is keen to enter the Indian market through the film."

Further, the source also alleged that Baig was insensitive to Nazia even during her final days: “In her final days, Nazia narrated her ordeal to her brother and family. This man told Nazia that she is going to be worth more to him dead than alive. This is why the Hassan family doesn’t want Baig to come anyway near Nazia’s name.”

In an exclusive interview with earlier, Hassan had revealed that Nazia remained tight-lipped about the troubled marriage as she didn't want her family to suffer.

Nazia and Zoheb Hassan shot to fame after Indian actor-producer Feroz Khan roped them in for the music of Qurbani (1980) and Nazia's 'Aap Jaisa Koi' song in the film made her a star overnight. Together with India-born British composer Biddu Appaiah, the brother-sister duo became Asian Pop icons with the Disco Deewane album that sold over 65 million records.