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Friends, not lovers: Aroosa

Chandigarh, Dec. 26: Pakistan journalist Aroosa Alam today sought to stub out rumours about her “affair” with Amarinder Singh, saying they were friends, not lovers.

“Pyaar nahin, dosti hai (it’s not love, it’s friendship),” she told a news conference, ruing her pretty face had become an object of entertainment for many.

“I don’t know why I am involved in this controversy. I don’t know who is responsible. It is unfair on the part of the media and unfortunate. As a mediaperson, I seek your help to end the affair,” she said.

Stressing that Amarinder was only a “good friend”, she said unfounded stories of a romantic liaison could turn against her in Pakistan.

“Don’t berate my character in public. My religion doesn’t permit these things. I have a social status in my country,” she appealed. “I also have my family, and status in Pakistan.”

Calling Amarinder a wise person with a vision, Aroosa said she had met him at Punjab Press Club in Jalandhar. “He was well known in Pakistan even before I met him. He is a good friend and will hopefully remain one.”

She said she had faced problems in her country after the Indian media blew things out of proportion and urged newspersons to refrain from sensationalism.

“We should respect each others’ private lives. In Pakistan, even if a politician has a relationship with someone else, not a word appears about his personal life,” she said.

Aroosa, who is president of the Pakistan chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association and vice-president of the Rawalpindi Press Club, said she was advised not to come to India after the rumours began early this year.

“I could not attend a (media) conference in Shimla because of the absurd allegations connecting me with Amarinder,” she said.

Asked how she managed to look so beautiful at the age of 55, she said she worked hard and went on long walks every day. “I may have a pretty face but unfortunately it has become a point of entertainment,” she laughed.

She said she had come to meet Amarinder’s ailing mother, Mohinder Kaur. “I met his wife Preneet, too, in Patiala. She has been a very good host.”

Aroosa would not talk much about a fatwa issued in Ludhiana today socially boycotting her. She said Islam did not oppose friendship but “maulvis have made unfortunate religious interpretations”. The fatwa was issued by Habibur Rahman, the shahi imam of Jama Masjid in Ludhiana.

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