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Pakistan: Actress Saba Qamar and co-star booked for shooting a song at Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore

Punjab minister Sahibzada Saeedul Hassan was quoted by Geo TV as saying, “The video shoot raised a lot of questions". He vowed strict action against those who gave permission for the shoot, 'no matter how high a position they held'.

Pakistani actress Saba Qamar and singer/actor Bilal Saeed have been booked on Friday for allegedly “violating the sanctity” of the Wazir Khan Mosque at Lahore. They had shot a scene at the mosque for a song that was scheduled to release on 11th August but was later postponed for a day.

Before the song could be released, a video of the two was circulated on the social media where there were seen doing a dance move with the mosque in the background. The said video caused outrage on the social media and many users demanded action against the actors and the team for shooting a song in the mosque.

According to the reports, a sessions court in Lahore has ordered the station house officer (SHO) to file the case and proceed with the actions against the team involved in shooting the song as per the law. Geo TV in its report said that a petition was heard on Thursday filed by Advocate Sardar Farhat Manzoor Khan. Additional District and Sessions Judge Attiqur Rehman listened to the petition in which the advocate requested the court to order the Lahore police to file a case against the duo and the team behind the song. The advocate also asked the court to take appropriate action against the officials of Pak’s Punjab government for allowing the shoot.

It is notable here that fundamentalist Muslims consider music and dance as ‘inappropriate’ and music and dance inside mosque premises are prohibited.

FIR registered under several acts

On court’s orders FIR has been registered against the actors and the team under sections including “offences relating to religion, injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class, and deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs,” the report said.

The Punjab Government had suspended Ishtiaq Ahmed, manager Wazir Khan Mosque on 9th August. Punjab minister Sahibzada Saeedul Hassan was quoted by Geo TV saying, “The video shoot raised a lot of questions”. He vowed strict action against those who gave permission for the shoot, ‘no matter how high a position they held’.

Actors posted apology statements on social media

Both Saba and Bilal posted apology posts on Twitter and tried to clarify that they did not shoot any music or dance sequence in the mosque. According to them, the video posted on social media was misleading. While Saba shared a trailer of the song and ensured there was no music or dance sequence in the mosque, Bilal posted a video message and said he and the team are extremely sorry if they hurt anyone sentiments. He added that being a devote Muslim, he cannot think of violating the sanctity of a mosque ever in his life.

Apology in form of a Tweet Thread posted by Saba Qamar on her Twitter account

Bilal added in his statement that they would remove the shots. The sequence did not make it to the final song released on 12th August. The actress had stated that the viral clip on social media was taken from a still photo shoot for the promotion of the song, intendeded to depict a happy couple after their Nikah. She had also asserted that no playback music was playing during the shoot.

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