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May 15, 2000
Nazia Hasan fights lung cancer
Pakistan-born pop singer Nazia Hasan, who took the sub-continent by storm with her debut song Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye for the popular Hindi film Qurbani in 1980, is battling lung cancer in London.
Her husband Ishtiaq Baig was quoted as saying in The Khaleej Times that Nazia had been undergoing treatment since January last year and doctors were hopeful she would recover within three months.
The newspaper said that, according to her hospital's medical report, Nazia underwent an operation in 1995 after ''she was diagnosed with stage one ovarian carcinoma and remained well for four years''.
Towards the end of 1998, her left lung had ''a solitary deposit'' of carcinoma she was diagnosed years ago. She initially declined to undergo chemotherapy because of potential hairloss but gave in after she relapsed.
The song in Qurbani , directed by Feroz Khan, was sung by Nazia when she was just 13. It was billed as the first authentic Asian pop song. An upbeat blend of the east and the west, the song remained number one for over a year.
In 1981, Nazia and her brother Zoheb released their debut album Disco Deewane in association with Indian composer Biddu, which became an instant hit.
Meanwhile, Baig denied reports that they had divorced and he had married Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiar.
He told the newspaper that he loved Nazia very much and "we are together. I have supported her with all my means and resources during the period of her illness and shouldered all the expenses of Nazia and her family's living in London".
On rumours that he had married Zeba, Baig said, "She is a close friend. She has clarified that she treats me like a brother. She is a good friend of my sister."
He said, "No one contacted us when writing about us. These false reports have disturbed us tremendously, especially Nazia, and have come at a time when she needs support from all of us."
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