Pakistani actress Veena Malik, who has been sentenced to 26 years of jail-time along with her husband Asad Bashir Khan for alleged blasphemy, has expressed shock over the controversy.
According to a report in The Times of India, Malik said, "It is a shocking news for me. We did not have any control over any television content that was aired. We were just a part of the show, where our mock marriage was organised. Later, footage was made out of it and circulated. And some 100 FIRs have been registered against us now."
The devastated actress is upset that such a harsh verdict has come at a time in her life when she is recovering from a complicated pregnancy followed by surgery in the US. She also mentioned that the punishment was an attack on her new life as a wife and mother.
Recalling the events that led to this grave trouble for her, the "Bigg Boss" ex-contestant said that she and husband were invited as guests on a show on Geo TV channel where a religious qawwalli was being played. She also defended herself by saying that the same Qawwalli is played on several other shows too.
"We showed no disrespect to the Qawwalli. I may have across as a liberated uninhibited person in my past conduct. But that doesn't mean I don't know how to respect my religion. Nowhere in my conduct will you find any disrespect to my religion." Malik told DNA from her home in Dubai.
Malik is also taken aback by the intensity of the attack on her family. The actress feels that such a punishment is an attempt to damage her image. She asserted that she will fight for justice. The couple will soon head to Pakistan to file an appeal in the country's high court.
On Tuesday, a Pakistani anti-terrorist court had sentenced Malik and her husband, along with the owner of Geo TV - Pakistan's biggest media group, and TV host Shaista Wahidi, to 26 years jail-terms for being part of a blasphemous television show. All four have also been ordered to pay a fine of 1.3 million Pakistani rupees.