Bollywood actress Veena Malik has been sentenced to 26 years behind bars for blasphemy over her appearance in a mock Tv wedding scene.
In May (14), the Pakistani star and her husband Asad Bashir Khan Khattak recreated their nuptials on a daytime programme, to the tune of what was deemed "contemptuous" qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music.
Many viewers complained the act was blasphemous, and several police complaints were filed against Malik, Khattak, show host Shaista Wahidi, and the owner of the network that aired the show, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
On Tuesday (25Nov14), a judge from an anti-terrorism court in Gilgit-Baltistan charged all four with blasphemy, with each receiving a sentence of 26 years in jail. They were also fined 1.3 million Pakistani rupees ($19,200/£12,000), according to the Times of India newspaper.
However, Malik may be able to avoid jail time due to a legal loophole - the court order will only be enforced in the city of Gilgit, which is controlled by both Pakistan and the India-claimed Kashmir region. Because it is not considered a proper province of Pakistan, any verdicts delivered by the city's courts do not apply to the rest of the country.
Malik, who currently lives in Dubai, is planning to return to Pakistan in the coming weeks to challenge the court order.
She reportedly told a local newspaper of the verdict, "Twenty six years! Come on. 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.
"I have faced highs and lows in my life. But I am sure I haven't done anything wrong."
This is not the first time Malik has courted controversy - in 2011, she sparked outrage by appearing nude on the cover of the Indian version of men's magazine Fhm.
With her arms and legs strategically placed to cover her private parts, Malik donned a faux tattoo on her arm which read, "Isi", the anagram for Pakistan's spy organisation, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
The actor says he isn't "holding out for more money or doing anything like that".
The drama will be making its return to the streaming service in the near future.
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