Famed Pakistani music maestro Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali has announced that he will be managed in the future by his wife and other family members, announcing that he will part ways with his previous management company, spearheaded by globally acclaimed music and concert producer Salman Ahmed, that managed the musician for 12 years.
At a press conference in Lahore, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan announced that his Pakistan company RFAK will merge into NRK, which is being managed by his wife Nida Rahat, her brother Baqa Niazi, who runs a truck business in the US, and his cousin Maroof Ali Khan, who was previously alleged in 2014 by Rahat to have stolen over $1.2 million from him, Asher Anwar, and Raja Umair Hussain.
It’s understood that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Salman Ahmed took separate paths over several issues related to the singer’s family, the lobbying of music promoters globally, and disputes related to live shows.
Rahat was represented for over a decade by Salman Ahmed, then residing in London, who was Rahat’s global promoter for 12 years.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said at the press conference that he was separating his path from the “previous management in a loving and peaceful way,” but this correspondent understands that not all is well and several litigations are in the offing.
The singer didn’t name his previous management company but alleged at the same press conference that “previously payments were made to the company without my knowledge by the clients, and some clients remain trapped. I don’t want the repeat of this episode, so make payments only when I have personally signed on the receiving”.
When Salman Ahmed was contacted, he hit back, rejecting all allegations. He said that he is prepared to give full revenue stream paperwork to Pakistan’s Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to set the record straight.
Salman Ahmed said: “Only 5 days before the press conference, the maestro had asked me to meet him and finalize his UK tour and other dates that he had committed to with me. In 12 years, I did over $22 million worth of international business with him and local business worth over Rs12 billion plus. Beyond this, I was part of his personal matters, and I managed Rahat’s three marriages and children from all three to his business affairs. I was a shield, ready to take the first bullet if need be. Khan sahb has forgotten everything; my devotion and work speak for themselves. I am disappointed in the baseless allegations. I had a legal contract with him, and we used to take money on his behalf. I have paperwork for every cent he has taken, and now he can justify to the authorities all the taxes he has paid or not paid in lieu of his huge revenue stream. I am happy to give all paperwork to the FBR and the FIA.”
Salman Ahmed said: “Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sold my sincerity too damn cheap. It is show time now. The world will see the reality.”
Together, Rahat and Salman produced magical music, making Rahat among the most sought-after world artists. Before Salman Ahmed started managing Rahat, the artist was well known in Pakistan because of his strong vocal skills, but Ahmed turned around everything for the artist and made him a household name in millions of homes in South Asia and beyond. The University of Oxford awarded the music doctorate degree to Khan, who had thanked Salman Ahmed for his efforts.
Salman Ahmed is one of the most experienced and respected British Asian art promoters. He started organizing Bhangra nights and British Asian concerts around 36 years ago.