I pay 40% of my Indian earnings as Taxes-Veena Malik
Veena Malik Blasts Fellow-Pakistani Rahat Fateh Khan For Breaking Indian Laws
Subhash K Jha (BOMBAY TIMES; March 17, 2011)
What’s your opinion on Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan being detained in India for FERA violence?
People in Pakistan feel that because Rahat Fateh Ali Khan saab is an artiste so he should have been treated with leniency. I disagree. In my opinion he was let off lightly with just a fine. But the Indian laws are equally applicable to Indians and Pakistanis. Look at what Salman Khan has gone through for his black-buck case or Sanjay Dutt in spite of being Indians they’ve faced the full impact of the laws here. I feel happy that the laws are followed so scrupulously in India. Rahat saab was earning so much money in India. He should’ve paid his taxes in the proper way.
So you think the hue and cry against his detention in Pakistan was uncalled-for?
If a female Pakistani artiste had been similarly detained in India, Pakistani reactions would’ve been different. Because that was Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Saab they said, let him go. If it was Veena Malik they’d have said, where did she get this money from? Mere oppar itna kichad oochala jata. I’d like to tell my people, khuda ke vaste double standards khatam karo. Let’s treat men and women equally.
How do you pay taxes in India when Pakistani artistes are not allowed to open bank accounts in India?
I am the only Pakistani actress to earn money on both sides of the border. I pay my taxes in Pakistan and even give 40 per cent of my earnings in India as taxes. I paid the same on my earnings from Bigg Boss. They deducted the tax at source. My money was transferred to me in Pakistan. I’ve never accepted cash for any of my commitments in India. I am clear on this. If I am paying taxes in Pakistan I’ll pay them here as well.
What are you in India for this time?
I am doing two reality shows. After being on Big Boss I got offers from four Indian television channels to host cricket shows. I also got an offer to do the new season of Fear Factor. But the stunts particularly those requiring me to eat alien things, were too disgusting for me. So, I declined the offer although friends advised me to go for it. I’ve worked with a news channel in Pakistan as well. When I got a chance to do a cricket show I grabbed it. When people like Anshuman Gaekwadji and Chetan Sharmaji ask me if I’ve been doing cricket commentary for a long time I’m deeply flattered. Because I’m doing this for the for the first time. I don’t think people in any part of the world are as cricket-crazy as India and Pakistan. I am one of those cricket fiends. As a child I’d comment on matches from my home…as though I was on radio or television.
Any film offers in India?
There was an offer for an item number in a big film. Then I got an offer to do film with Aftab Shivdasani. But they had their sets ready and they wanted me to join immediately in March. This month I’ll sign a few films and there’re at least a couple of other reality shows which are almost finalized. I’m supposed to return to Pakistan on April 2. Why do I get the feeling that I won’t be returning to Pakistan for a while? (laughs).
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