The Baluch Twins and PISA Awards controversy has been making rounds on social media ever since the news broke out last Friday. If you still don’t know what happened, keep on reading!
Adil and Asim Baluch from The ‘Baluch Twins’ are two musicians hailing from Karachi. Their music is widely known and appreciated, especially for their soulful ghazals and their efforts to introduce Baluchi music to the mainstream Pakistani music industry.
The duo was nominated in the ‘Singer of the year’ category for the recently held PISA Awards 2021 in Dubai. However, the singers claim that they were told their tickets were ‘refunded’ at the last moment without informing them through an official statement. The news gained traction after the twins posted a video on their official Instagram account while they were still in the Jinnah terminal at Karachi airport.
According to the musicians, they were in contact with the PISA team for 2 months, everything was in check, from their visas to their tickets. However, it was only on 2nd November (2 days before the event) that they were informed, that too over a text, that their flights had been canceled. The duo also did not get an explanation from the PISA team for this last-minute cancellation.
They went to Emirates’ Head Office in Karachi to further investigate the matter where they realized that they were misinformed by the PISA management and their tickets were still confirmed. Hence, they went to the airport on 4th November to board their flight. The Baluch Twins, however, were informed on the boarding counter that their tickets were allegedly refunded intentionally.
The singers were “totally shattered and traumatized” by the incident and felt they were being discriminated against because they are Baluch and/or from Lyari and in their words, “not privileged enough.” They also stated in the video that their fellow musicians and nominees got their boarding passes right in front of them and boarded the plane.
PISA Management’s Side Of The Story
The PISA Awards management recently came out with an official statement to clarify their side of the story and denied accusations of ethnic discrimination against the Baluch Twins. According to them, the situation was “purely logistic and had absolutely nothing to do with racial discrimination, as was accused.”
The statement read, “The management at PISA would foremost like to apologize to the Baluch Twins for the inconvenience they experienced by not being able to attend the PISA’21 show in Dubai on November 5, 2021. The Baluch Twins were one of five esteemed nominees in the Song of the Year category.
“In light of the accusations made, PISA would like to elaborate that the circumstances were a result of the cancellation of the flight the Baluch Twins were originally booked on. Twenty-nine PISA guests were on two Lahore to Dubai flights that were canceled. Despite all efforts, several of those people could not be adjusted on alternate flights and unfortunately, the Baluch Twins were two of them. Covid advisories, the T20 Series, and the Expo traffic all contributed to the unfortunate situation.”
“The management at PISA respects all of its nominees, including the Baluch Twins, and will continue to acknowledge, celebrate and encourage their undeniable talent,” it added.
Baluch Twins Were Not The Only Ones
Apparently, The Baluch Twins were not the only ones who had an unfortunate experience with the PISA Management. The band ‘Bayaan’ was nominated in the ‘Song of the year’ category for their song “Teri Tasveer.” The band’s bassist, Haider Abbas spoke to The Express Tribune regarding the matter.
He stated, “A night before we had to fly out, PISA management informed us that our flight had been canceled by Emirates. This was a few hours before we had to fly to Karachi for our international flight to Dubai. But we were fine because we knew that flights are being canceled nationwide. However, when we did our own inquiry, we found out that all the flights were leaving on schedule but our tickets had been refunded by the PISA organizers. All the people who were booked to go for PISA were going; we were in touch with them.”
Moreover, also nominated in the category were Young Stunners for their song “On & On” with singer Shamoon Ismail. However, they did not attend the award function because they also had their fair share of mishaps with the PISA management. Talha Yunus, one of the singers from Young Stunners told Express Tribune that they had declined to come to the event themselves because they did not like the way the PISA management approached them.
“They had started calling us instead of our managers who deal with event planners, organizers on our behalf. They were not interested in speaking to them [our managers]. It was like an intrusion, an invasion of privacy. So we took it upon ourselves to back off, it was our decision,” Talha Yunus told The Express Tribune.
“And after what happened to Baluch Twins, we felt artists are being disrespected. Because if you’re rebooking everyone else’s tickets, if they’re able to board their flights, then Baluch Twins shouldn’t have been left out,” he added.
This is everything that has happened up till now regarding the Baluch Twins and PISA Awards controversy. What is your opinion on this? Let us know!