Indian music director Rashid Khan has denied Pakistani musician Shuja Haider's claims that he plagiarised his song and has threatened legal action if he doesn't apologise.
Last week, Haider accused Yasser Desai and Rashid Khan of copying his original song 'Baaghi' in their song 'Piya Re Piya'. In response, the Indian composer said the melody and verses are different than Haider's song and denied the allegations made by 'Saiyaan' singer.
"The music and lyrics of my song are starkly different. Yasser Desai, the singer of 'Piya Re Piya', also matched the notations for both the songs. Much like him, my friend Imran Abbas from Pakistan and my guru also feel that dono gaanon mein zameen aasmaan ka farq hai [There's a major difference between both songs],” Khan told the Hindustan Times.
The composer claims that he "didn't even know" who Haider was nor had he listened to his music. Khan also told the publication that "if even four notations" from his composition match Haider's then he will leave the profession.
In the interview, he also claimed that Haider tried to "gain publicity" by taking a dig at his composition. "I will be taking legal steps on grounds of defamation if Haider doesn’t apologise. He’s trying to tarnish my image. No one has ever accused me of plagiarism and these claims are an insult to my years of training and experience," said Khan.
In response, Haider told Images, "I just found out and it looks like a small campaign from their end. I think this is negative publicity. My intentions weren't like this, the way they have portrayed. I'm not taking interest any longer because it's an Urdu 1 product [the song 'Baaghi'] and I composed it. They haven't taken any action so I thought I shouldn't either. So now when I stopped talking, they [Rashid Khan and Yasser Desai] have started speaking."
He also said that Khan and Desai both know the song has been copied and "their interview could be for negative publicity".
"Everyone knows that they have copied the entire verse. This guy [Yasser Desai] once did a cover of that song ['Baaghi'] and we had a conversation on Instagram and I appreciated him for that a year ago," said Haider.