It was back in 2017 when famed actor Hamza Ali Abbasi first expressed disappointment over item numbers being shown in Pakistani films. “It’s heart-breaking and disappointing to see some brilliant Pakistani film-makers still using such songs to sell their films," he wrote at that time. Two years later, his stance seems to be no different. Calling it ‘filth’, Abbasi once again slammed the genre in an appearance on a talent show. In a video that has gone viral, a 16-year-old girl Sany Yousuf is seen auditioning for Pakistan Star with a dance performance on Mehwish Hayat's item number Billi from Na Maloom Afraad.
The judges’ panel featuring Abbasi, Kubra Khan and Javed Sheikh weighed in on Yousuf’s performance. Sheikh was all praises for the new kid on the block and Khan lauded her for her confidence. Abbasi, on the other hand, begged to differ with both their opinions. "Before I give my verdict, I want give a little lecture," the ‘Mann Mayal’ actor said. "You can disagree with me but it's just my own opinion. I'm begging all our producers and directors to not add item numbers in Pakistani films. You're 16 and you're dancing on the same. Keeping your talent aside, I feel very disheartened as someone who works in showbiz and include such songs. I apologise to you."
He continued, "The kind of songs we have, the kind of lyrics such item numbers have, I feel embarrassed that a 16-year-old is dancing to it. These kids look up to us and please let's not have any more item songs in our films. These songs are filth. Even India is trying to get rid of it. Our whole society is ruined because of it." Abbasi revealed he has a problem with the lyrics of the song. "Item number is something which has sexually provocative lyrics. 90% of our songs are really good, it's just the other 10%. There's no need of it anyway in the film. It's completely disconnected but the directors for some reason feel the need to add such songs since it's an ongoing phenomenon."