NEW DELHI: Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam said that her relationship with former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was that of only friendship, and wondered why the media was making such a big deal of it. While she was addressing the media, Maulana Mabibur Rehman, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ludhiana, issued a fatwa calling for her social boycott by Muslims. The Shahi Imam said the tenets of Islam did not permit a woman to move about or keep company with any man other than her blood relations like father, mother and son.
Aroosa, who is also president of the Islamabad chapter of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), said that her relationship with Mr Singh was only a friendship, and that she is definitely not an ISI agent. She said, “I do not know how such a controversy was created.” She said that the Indian media was intruded into her private life. “Do you want that I should stop breathing? You can end the controversy. I had been coming to India even before I met Amarinder, but was never described as an ISI agent.” Aroosa said, “We are journalists and should accept privacy of individuals.”
Earlier this week, she went to India to visit former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Since then there has been a flood of accusations, reports and headlines about her association with Singh. In the Punjab Assembly, an Akali MLA went to the extent of blaming Amarinder of being intimate with an “ISI agent”. A section of the Akali leadership also demanded a discussion on this matter of “vital national interest”.
Aroosa told the media person, “I had always thought Indian society and media were more liberal than Pakistan, but I think the opposite is true. The Pakistani media doesn’t delve into personal affairs of its politicians.” Aroosa Alam was introduced to Singh when he toured Pakistan in 2004. She is the daughter of Akleen Akhtar, popularly known as General Rani, a socialite who had considerable influence on Pakistani politics of 1970s. Amarinder Singh also termed the allegation as baseless and said the rumors about their relationship are noting but sheer lies. “These talks are rubbish, absurd and indicative of a sick mindset,” he said.-SANA