Veena Malik to appeal against 26-year imprisonment sentence
New Delhi: Pakistan-born actress Veena Malik has said, she and her businessman husband Asad Bashir Khan would appeal against the 26-year jail sentence handed out to her and her husband by an Anti-Terrorism Court on Tuesday.
Speaking to a Delhi newspaper on phone from Dubai, where the couple is currently based, Veena Malik said she had sought time from the court as she was pregnant, but the court went ahead and the proceedings continued.
"I was pregnant at the time I was told about this, and I told them that I am coming to Pakistan in December and obviously the court has to hear our side as well, but they went ahead when we were not even present in Pakistan", the actress, who had often been embroiled in past controversies, said.
Veena Malik said: "I am a true-born, educated Muslim and I come from a good family. I cannot even think of doing something like that (blaspheming Islam)".
She alleged that some people were trying to misuse her name to gain advantage and publicity. "The moment my name gets involved in something, it becomes very big. They have created fake cases all over Pakistan. There should be just one FIR in this matter, but unfortunately in Pakistan, there are hundreds of FIRs against us in the same case", Veena Malik said.
The Pakistani actress said, she and her husband would file their petition in a higher court and she was sure everything would be fine.
Describing the controversial Geo TV show, Veena Malik said, she and her husband were on the show where they played the religious song,"but it has been played hundreds of times before".
She alleged that others who attended the TV show were left our deliberately, while she and her husband were targeted.
On Tuesday, Justice Shahbaz Khan of Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Court has sentenced Veena Malik,her husband Asad Basheer Khan and Geo TV owner Shakilur Rehman to 26 years imprisonment on charge of blasphemy.
Geo TV host Shaista Waheedi was also sentenced to 26 years in jail for the "blasphemous" show.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 13 lakhs on the convicts, and in the event of failing to pay their fine, the judge has ordered that their properties be attached.
All the four convicts are currently out of Pakistan. Geo TV owner Shakilur Rehman stays in the UAE, while the other three are also staying outside their homeland because of threats from terrorists.
The Geo TV host Shaista Waheedi and the Geo media group had tendered apology after telecasting the show, but jihadi fundamentalists in Pakistan refused to accept their apology.
The four convicts can appeal against the verdict before the regional High Court of Gilgit-Baltistan.
On May 14 this year, Geo TV telecast the show in which Veena Malik and Asad Bashir Khan took part in a "fake wedding" in which Manqabat, a Sufi devotional song was rendered.
Manqabat, the Sufi devotional song is sung in praise of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, or of any Sufi saint.
The song was performed in Geo TV host Shaista Waheedi's show "Utho Jaago Pakistan".
On May 17 this year, a court in Pakistan ordered police to file a case against all the four convicts in which it was alleged that they insulted the family members of Prophet Muhammad. Since then, Geo TV has supended Shaista Waheedi's show.
The bone of contention was over the Manqabat Qawwali "Ali and Zohra's marriage".
Actress Veena Malik had married Pakistani businessman Asad Bashir Khan in Dubai on December 25, 2013 after a long relationship.