Islamabad, Nov 26: Pakistani actress Veena Malik, who made her mark in Bollywood as well, landed in a serious legal trouble. An anti-terrorism court sentenced Veena Malik and others to 26 years of imprisonment.
The actress along her husband Asad Bashir Khatak and the owner of Pakistan's biggest media group, Geo TV -- Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman have been found guilty in the case. The Geo TV owner has been found of airing a blasphemous programme.
Charges against Veena Malik and other convicts:
The media baron allegedly had aired a blasphemous programme in May 2014. Geo TV had played a religious song while staging a mock marriage of Malik with Bashir. However, other reports claimed that that Geo TV aired a show featuring Malik dancing with her husband while a group of Sufi musicians sang a devotional song about the wedding of the Prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) daughter.
The anti-terror court judge Shahbaz Khan also sentenced both Malik and Bashir along with TV host Shaista Wahidi for 26 years each. All the convicts have been imposed a fine of 1.3 million Pakistani rupees. The court also asserted all properties of all convicts should be sold to raise the fine, if they failed to pay it.
The judge said in his judgment that all four accused committed profanity. The court in its 40-page verdict also asked the police to arrest the convicts, an official said.
He said that the convict can appeal in the regional high court in Gilgit-Baltistan. There are reports that all four are out of Pakistan. Rahman resides in the UAE and the other three also went abroad after recieving threats by militant organisations.
It is not known when the arrests would be carried out. Both Wahidi and the Geo group have tendered apology after the allegations were levelled but the extremists in the country refused to accept it. Other blasphemy cases were also registered against them in various cities, including Karachi and Islamabad.
Veena Malik's reactions on court sentence:
Meanwhile, the actress, who recently gave birth to a baby boy, said, "It's a shock to me but I have complete faith in Pakistan's higher courts and judiciary"
"...This court works separately from the other courts in Pakistan. There are higher courts in Pakistan such as the Supreme Court," Malik added while showing her faith in the judiciary of the country.
While continuing her statement, Malik also added, "Whenever there is an issue a court will look into the facts of the case. We were not even present in the court at the time of the verdict. I have belief and trust in courts."
The actress also asserted that she has not committed any sin and she would never commit blasphemy. "We are planning to return to Pakistan in Dec 2014. I have always been a person who faced troubles by looking it in the eye. I have faced highs and lows in my life. But I am sure I haven't done anything wrong," she added.