I won’t let anyone use me as a pawn in their dirty political games, says Mehwish Hayat on YouTuber defamation case

Published 12 Jan, 2023 12:07pm

Images Staff

In a statement shared on social media, Hayat said she's happy now that a petition has been filed and people, "including trolls" online, will be held accountable.

<p>Photo: Mehwish Hayat /Instagram</p>

Photo: Mehwish Hayat /Instagram

Actor Mehwish Hayat filed on Wednesday a petition in the Sindh High Court against YouTuber Adil Raja for defamatory videos he posted. The actor had initially approached the FIA’s Cyber Crime Wing to look into the matter, however, due to lack of progress, she approached SHC for remedy. Later that day she shared on Instagram that she went to court because she “will not stand for these vile smear campaigns any more”.

Taking to both Twitter and Instagram, Hayat wrote, “This has been going on for sometime - but the events of the last few days have hit a new low. Criticise my work all you like, but no one has the right to defame my character. I am not the one to sit and let anyone use me as a pawn in their dirty political games!”

The Ms. Marvel actor wrote that she won’t rest until this matter is resolved. She said she is happy now that the petition has been filed and people behind this, “including all the trolls who are spreading malicious lies,” will be held accountable.

“It is such a shame that I’ve had to go to court to protect my dignity and reputation - is this what we have become? I would like to thank all those from industry, family, friends and above all fans who have sent me message of support. They have provided me with strength in what has been a trying time, “ she wrote.

Actor Osman Khalid Butt showed his support under her tweet by writing, “More power to you, Mehwish. Standing in solidarity,” under her tweet.

“Go get em!” said comedian Ali Gul Pir.

The petition filed in SHC on Wednesday read that Hayat is “aggrieved by a social media storm generated and precipitating due to certain videos made by an individual by the name Adil Farooq Raja who claims to be a self-professed ‘geopolitical analyst’ and ‘rights activist’ maintaining a YouTube channel by the name of Soldier Speaks as well as a Twitter handle by the name Soldier Speaks”.

She called the allegations levelled by Raja “blatantly false, derogatory, defamatory, malicious, incendiary, dangerous [and] sensationalising” and said they “degrad[ed]” the four actors he mentioned in his video, “causing an affront to their modesty and dignity by alleging that they were used by intelligence agencies and the establishment to lure politicians into compromising positions at safe houses maintained by such agencies where videos were made of such actresses with such politicians.”

Hayat has petitioned the court under sections 11 (hate speech), 20 (offences against dignity of a natural person), 21 (offences against modesty of a natural person and minor) and 37 (unlawful online content) of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.

The SHC ordered the FIA to remove the content that maligns Hayat and issued two-week notices to the FIA and PTA regarding the defamation case.

Hayat’s petition comes nearly a week after actor Kubra Khan approached the SHC to block defamatory content against her online. Khan filed petition against “derogatory, defamatory, malicious, incendiary, dangerous and sensationalising allegations” made by the YouTuber against her and three other actors on the social media networking websites.