Bollywood actress Venna Malik has openly expressed her anger over the 26-year prison term that was handed down by a Pakistan court, due to a scene she did based loosely on the marriage of the prophet Muhammad’s daughter, reports the Guardian.
Malik’s husband, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, received the same sentence. Rahman is the owner of the Jang-Geo media group, which broadcasted the TV show. The couple was ordered to surrender their passports.
The scene that has caused some legal issues for Malik involved the actress re-enacting her own wedding to Asad Bashir Khan, as religious music played in the background.
Outrage followed the original broadcast on GEO TV back in May, and blasphemy cases were filed against the stations owner and anchorman as well as Malik and her husband.
Back in May, the vice president of the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of Muslim religious organization Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat filed an official complaint that alleged the show defiled the family of the prophet by playing a “contemptuous Quawwali.”
Geo TV and the anchorwoman immediately issued apologies, while Malik and Khan left Pakistan as the investigation was underway.
The verdict was handed down on Tuesday. Judge Raja Shahbaz ordered law enforcement officers to make the arrests under Section 19 (10) of the Anti-Terrorism Act in case of disobedience, as well as sell the properties of the offendants.
“After evaluation of the entire evidence of the prosecution, I am of the considered opinion that the prosecution has proved its case against proclaimed offenders and absconders,” Judge Shahbaz said.
“The malicious acts of the proclaimed offenders ignited the sentiments of all the Muslims of the country and hurt the feelings, which cannot be taken lightly and there is need to strictly curb such tendency,” the official order reads.
According to the Telegraph, Malik says that her plans are to return to Pakistan to challenge the court order. Malik expressed great skepticism about its legitimacy.
The judge’s order was enforced in Gilgit, whose control is shared between Pakistan and the India.
Malik, 28, is said to be distraught over the sentence. Her biggest fear is losing her baby boy, Abram. Malik caused a storm of controversy prior to this court case, when she posed topless for the cover of FHM.
Malik, who lives in Dubai, says that the women of Pakistan are now empowered, and that she carries with her the support of Pakistan.
“Twenty-six years is a lifetime, but I have faith in higher courts in Pakistan. When the final verdict comes, it will do justice to me. Nothing bad is going to happen,” Malik said.