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Veena Malik 'shocked' at conviction for blasphemy

Pakistani actress Veena Malik has expressed 'shock' at a Pakistan court sentencing her and her husband, among others, to 26 years in jail on blasphemy charges. However, she says her faith in the country's judicial system is intact and she plans to take the fight for justice forward.

Veena Malik
Veena Malik

An anti-terrorism court in Gilgit-Baltistan Tuesday sentenced Veena, her husband Asad Bashir Khan Khattak, Geo TV owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and TV host Shaista Lodhi over a controversial morning show, which was aired May 14.

In the episode, Veena was seen dancing with her husband while a group of Sufi musicians sang a devotional song about the wedding of the Prophet's daughter.

The court also sentenced the convicts to pay fines of 1.3 million Pakistani rupees (about $12,500) each.

Veena sent out a statement Wednesday, saying: "It's a shock to me but I have complete faith in Pakistan's higher courts and judiciary... This court works separately from the other courts in Pakistan. There are higher courts in Pakistan such as the Supreme Court."

"Whenever there is an issue, a court will look into the facts of the case. We were not even present in the court at the time of the verdict. I have belief and trust in courts."

The actress has always courted controversies like a magnet -- be it for her closeness with Indian actor Ashmit Patel during her stint on reality TV show "Bigg Boss 4" or her shelved 'swayamvar', or her bold photoshoots. This time it is for hurting religious sentiments.

Her lawyer has already started the work on an appeal against the verdict in higher courts. Veena, who is in Dubai, asserts that she is innocent.

"We are planning to return to Pakistan in December. I have always been a person who faced troubles by looking it in the eye. I have faced highs and lows in my life. But I am sure I haven't done anything wrong," she added.

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