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Fans upset with last-minute Rahat Fateh Riyadh concert cancellation

RIYADH: Legendary Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan left fans shocked and disappointed after a last-minute cancelation of his performance on Friday night at Riyadh’s King Fahad Culture Center, citing political strife in Pakistan.

About 3,000 people, mainly Pakistani and Indian expatriates, had already arrived at the venue, when the announcement of cancelation was made.
Rahat’s first concert in Saudi Arabia was completely sold out in less than three days with ticket’s ranging in price from SR100 to SR1,000.
Rahat, who pulled out of the show at the eleventh hour, said: “I, along with the Pakistani embassy and the Saudi government agencies decided to postpone the show keeping in the situation in Pakistan.”
The singer, however, said that he was “completely overwhelmed by the love and respect I got in Riyadh.”
Rahat also said: “I promise I will do my best to make this up to everybody I’ve let down today, I will definitely perform in Riyadh later, when the situation improves. I will come back to perform as soon as normalcy is restored in Pakistan.”
The situation in Pakistan worsened on Friday after the assassination of a high-profile Islamic cleric and politician Sami-ul-Haq.
Ul-Haq was killed at his home in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, protesters continued to block highways and forced the closing of schools and businesses in the aftermath, after Asia Bibi, convicted in 2010 on evidence of violating new Pakistani blasphemy laws, was acquitted by the country’s supreme court last Wednesday.
Rahat, a top Pakistan musician and playback singer of Bollywood and Pakistani film industry, has judged several television shows. He is also the first Pakistani singer to perform at the Noble Prize Concert in 2014.
He has won dozens of prestigious national and international awards including Lux Style Awards, Pakistan Media Award, Filmfare Award, and IIFA Award.

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