Pakistani court acquits ‘Hindi Medium’ star Saba Qamar of desecration charges for filming ‘dance video’ at mosque

LAHORE: A Pakistani court on Monday acquitted Saba Qamar, who starred in Bollywood film ‘Hindi Medium’, in an alleged desecration case for filming a ‘dance video’ at a historic mosque here.

Lahore Supplementary Sessions Judge Malik Muhammad Mushtaq acquitted Qamar and

Bilal Saeed of the charges in his eight-page verdict.

Police had registered an FIR against Qamar and Saeed in 2020 for alleged “desecration” of Masjid Wazir Khan in Lahore.

The Punjab government had also sacked two senior officers for violating the sanctity of the mosque.

Following strong criticism and even death threats against him on social media, Qamar and Saeed had apologized for their act.

According to the FIR, the two actors had trampled on the sanctity of the mosque by shooting a dance video. This act aroused the indignation of the Pakistani people.

“The investigator found no evidence to suggest that Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed intentionally damaged, defiled or disrespected the place of worship,” the court observed in its ruling.

“Instead, being entertainers, they joined the shoot with prior permission from Auqaf Department and Department of Religious Affairs, Government of Punjab, Lahore,” he said.

Investigators also did not produce any musical instruments played during the shooting at the mosque.

Saba Qamar, 38, whose work in Bollywood films has been praised, had also directed a biopic of social media sensation Qandeel Baloch.

She has received death threats on social media for her “anti-Islamic action”.

She was warned on social media that she could face the fate of Baloch who was killed by his brother in 2016 for “dishonoring the honor of the family”.

Different religious parties including the Jamaat-e-Islami had also organized demonstrations demanding “strict punishment” for the couple.