A Pakistani court on Wednesday indicted Hindi medium star Saba Qamar in a case registered against her last year for shooting a ‘dance video’ at a historical mosque here. Both Ms Qamar and singer Bilal Saeed were present in the court of judicial magistrate Javeria Bhatti when they were charge-sheeted desecration of Wazir Khan Masjid (in old city of Lahore). The magistrate directed the prosecution to present its witnesses on next hearing on next hearing on October 14.
Both the suspects pleaded before the court ‘not guilty’. They said they would contest the trial. Clad in a black burqa (scarf covering her from head to toe) Ms Qamar looked nervous when she was indicted in the case which she contested registered on frivolous charges.
The versatile actress said she was booked under ‘baseless facts'. “No dance or music took place at the mosque. I am falsely implicated in this case,” she pleaded.
Lahore police last year had registered a case against Qamar and Saeed under section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for allegedly ‘desecration’ of Masjid Wazir Khan in the old city of Lahore.
According to the FIR, both actors had trampled upon the sanctity of the mosque by shooting a dance video and this act also sparked an outrage among the people of Pakistan. The Punjab government had also sacked two senior officers in connection with violation of the mosque’s sanctity.
Following strong criticism and even death threats to her on social media, Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed had apologised for their act. “It was the music video featuring a Nikah (marriage) scene. It was neither shot with any sort of playback music nor has it been edited to the music track,” she had said.
Saba Qamar whose work in Bollywood movies received appreciation had also done a biopic of social media sensation Qandeel Baloch. She received death threats on social media for her ‘un-Islamic action.
She was warned on the social media that she might face the fate of Qandeel Baloch who was killed by her brother in 2016 for ‘disgracing the family honour’.
Different religious parties including Jamaat-i-Islami had also held demonstrations in the city demanding ‘strict punishment’ to artist couple for what they call committing sin.