I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik

Updated: September 01, 2010 12:42 IST

In an exclusive interview to NDTV.com, Pakistani actress Veena Malik has insisted there's nothing personal about her allegations against estranged boyfriend Muhammad Asif, one of the players named in the latest scandal to rock Pakistan's cricket establishment.

I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
In an interview to NDTV.com, actress Veena Malik has insisted there's nothing personal about her allegations against estranged boyfriend Mohammad Asif, one of players named in the latest scandal to rock Pakistan's cricket establishment. Veena had earlier alleged that freelance Indian photographer Dheeraj Dixit approached Asif for spot-fixing.

The sting operation carried out by British tabloid The News of the World, which implicated seven Pakistani players including captain Salman Butt, has opened a Pandora's box with fresh reports suggesting that the opening Test between England and Pakistan and the January Sydney Test between Pakistan and Australia could have been fixed.

Here are excerpts from Veena's interview to NDTV.com. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q1. When did you first come to know that Muhammad Asif was involved in match-fixing?

A. To be honest, my relationship with Asif lasted for almost a year and a half. He was banned from playing cricket for one year and that was the time when I gave him moral support. I had no clue then that he was involved in match fixing. Slowly I started noticing that he used to get mysterious calls which he hid from me. (Photo: Veena and Asif in happier times)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q2. When and how did you come to know about the caller?

A. It never crossed my mind that Asif was into match-fixing. I suspected there was some other girl he was going around with and that is why he was being so secretive about the calls. But what made me really suspicious was that whenever he got these calls, he used to call back either from his servant's number or from some other number. One day I decided to get to the bottom of the matter. When I called on the number, I was surprised to hear a male voice at the other end since I was expecting a girl. It turned out to be Dheeraj Dixit. I then asked Asif about him and that is how I came to know about the match-fixing issue.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q3. Can you recall the exact date or month on which Asif spoke to the Dheeraj Dixit and were you witness to that?

A. It happened in November 2009. I am witness to the fact that Dheeraj and Asif spoke over 17 times in the span of just 15 to 16 days. I recall one conversation where Dheeraj told Asif that he had organised business class tickets to Thailand for him. He also said he had spent lakhs on Asif. Dheeraj offered $40,000 but Asif wanted much more than that. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q4. Did Asif ever tell you that he was involved in match-fixing?

A. Yes he did. After I spoke to Dheeraj, I realised Asif was mixed up in something wrong. I then asked him and he told me all about it. I was completely shocked. In fact I became a cricket-lover only because of Asif and before that I didn't have a clue about match-fixing. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q5. Did Asif ever mention the involvement of other Pakistani players in match-fixing?

A. No, never. He did not talk to me about other players. So I can only talk about him. I don't know who else is involved in this kind of activity. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q6. But isn't that strange? You were his girlfriend and he confessed to you about his involvement in match-fixing. Why then wouldn't Asif talk about others in the Pakistan team who were hand-in-glove with him?

A. When I came to know about his involvement in match-fixing, we had a huge fight over the whole issue and I warned him never to do it again. I told Asif that I was with him only as long as he stayed away from match-fixing. Had I supported him or encouraged him at that that point, I am sure he would have taken more names. But that was not so. That's perhaps the reason why he didn't tell me about any other players being involved.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q7. When you were aware of Asif's involvement in match-fixing in November 2009 itself, why didn't you go public with that information?

A. Asif promised me he would never do it again. He said he would stay away from match-fixing and concentrate on his game instead. But just before the current tour of England, the Pakistani team was in Australia for a series. Asif was also there. He called me from Australia and said Pakistan was not going to win any matches till December 2010. I was shocked and realized he had broken his promise.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q8. Is this why you decided to break all relations with him?

A. Yes, that is the main reason. But Asif was also into drugs and alcohol. I wanted him to give up all his bad habits and lead a decent life. Four months back I realized he had not changed at all, and that is when I decided to leave him. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q9. You parted ways with Asif some time back. Why did you keep silent for all these days? And why have you suddenly become so vocal about Asif's alleged involvement in match-fixing?

A. That is not true. Just three months ago, I spoke to a leading television channel in Pakistan about Asif's involvement in match-fixing. Unfortunately no one took notice then. What else could I do? I did what I could. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q10. So it's not true that you are trying to settle scores with Asif for making allegations against you?

A. Absolutely not. I am not getting personal. Had it been a personal vendetta, I would have done it much earlier. In fact after we broke up, Asif was reluctant to return my money and I had to move the court. The court ordered an FIR to be lodged. I could easily have tried to settle scores then, but I didn't. I am speaking my heart out today only in the interest of the game of cricket. People call it a gentleman's game. Sadly it is not so. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q11. So it's just the love for cricket that has inspired you to reveal the truth?

A. Yes, I want cricket to be a gentleman's game. Match fixing is spoiling it. I am speaking only in the interest of cricket and nothing else. (Photo: Sunday magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q12. In his defense, Dheeraj Dixit has claimed that it's you who manage some Pakistani players. What do you have to say to that?

A. He is lying. First he said he never spoke to me. He also said that he didn't speak to Asif. It's all rubbish. If he didn't speak to Asif, how did I get his number? (Photo: Veena, Meera and Gia Ali shoot for an ad)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q13. Have you received any threats after going public with your allegations?

A. Not so far. I anticipate this will happen eventually. I may be threatened, but I am out for the right cause. The guilty cricketers are playing with the emotions of millions of fans. They must be exposed and punished.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q14. But weren't you scared of making such sensitive disclosures? Did you have any second thoughts before going public with all this information?

A. Everyone knows that I am daring and bold. I am not scared of any threats for raising my voice against something as shameful as match-fixing. I understand the consequences of my actions and am ready to face them.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q15. Have you got enough support from your friends, colleagues and people of Pakistan?

A. Yes, I am very happy with the support that I have got from all quarters.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q16. Did Asif ever try to mend his relations with you? If he now asks for a reconciliation, will you consider it?

A. It was Asif who came to me and proposed. When I realized that this man was not going to leave the wrong path, I took a decision to part ways with him. The question of accepting him even if he promises to turn over a new leaf just doesn't arise anymore. I am engaged to someone else and I am happy with him now.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q17. How did you and Asif meet?

A. I met Asif at the success party of my play Uljhe Dhaage. He met me through one of his friends and was full of praises for me. When I went to his house for the first time, there were flowers all around and it was something that impressed me very much.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q18. And so the Uljhe Dhaage party turned out to be the start of a complicated chapter in your life?

A. Very true. I never expect that I was going to witness something so bad and so shameful. According to me match-fixing is bad because you cheat those who love you. You betray them. It's such a shame.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q19. Do you want strict action be taken against Asif and the other tainted players if they are found guilty?

A. All I can say is that the matter should be investigated thoroughly and the truth should come out. People should know the players who are playing with their emotions.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Q20. Do you believe only Pakistani players are involved in match-fixing or could cricketers from other countries be involved too?

A. I only know what I was witness to. While I have no knowledge of the involvement of other players, I would not be surprised if there are more in the cricketing fraternity who are guilty. We all have to raise our voice against this. We all have to condemn match-fixing. I am doing it because I love cricket.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
While of late Veena Malika may have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, there is little doubt about her popularity as an actress in Pakistan. She was born Zahida Malik on February 26, 1980 in Bhakar, Pakistan. She has five sisters and one brother.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Veena's father Ali Malik was in the Pakistan army and staunchly opposed to the idea of his daughter joining films. But Veena received support from her grandmother and mother Zeenat Malik to pursue her dreams. Although passionate about acting from a very young age, Veena was always an above average student and graduated with distinction from Rawalpindi's F.G College. (Photo: MAG Magazine)
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Standing 5'7" tall and with her stunning good looks, Veena had little trouble finding work as a model and then as a comedian in several televison shows. She made her big screen debut alongside Shaan and Zara Sheikh in Askari's Tere Pyar Mein (2000). The film did not do well at the box office.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Since then she has acted in films like Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa (2002), Koi Tujh Sa Kahan (2005), Wapsi (2006), Packton Yaar (2006), Sozam Peh Angar (2006) and Anjaam (2007). Veena has most recently been seen in Rafique's Main Jeena Tere Naal (2010), and the comedy show Miss Dunya (2010).
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
There has been no dearth of controversies in Veena's life. In 2001 stills from a purpoted nude photoshoot surfaced on the Internet. Veena denied she had ever posed for the pictures and dismissed them as fake. "The photo-shoot you are mentioning is the part of anti-Veena campaign by my opponents in the film industry. I never went for a nude-shoot. Those are fake pictures. I am not bothered about them since those are not my photographs. I know there is a striking identical resemblance between the girl in those snaps and me but just resemblance takes us nowhere," she was quoted as saying.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
Veena's raging rivalry with another Lollywood actress Meera has also kept the rumour mills turning in Pakistan. The turbulant relationship was not helped by Meera's long-time assistant Mukhtar leaving her to join Veena. The spat turned quite bitter at one point, with both actresses trading charges in public.
I am not settling scores with Asif, says Veena Malik
The actress has also struggled in her relationship with men. In 2009 came reports that she had split with Lollywood actor Babrak Shah over charges of infedility with Asif. Then Veena was rumoured to have secretly got married to Asif in London, something that both of them hotly denied. Soon after Asif married Sana Hilal in Lahore, Veena slapped him with a legal notice demanding that the cricketer return a sum of Rs 1.5 crore that he had allegedly borrowed from her. In an interview to The Nation in June 2010, Veena described her engagement with Shah and frienship with Asif as a 'great blunder'. She is now apparently engaged to Faisal Akbar, a US national of Pakistani origin, and intends to settle down with him.

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