Pakistani actress Saba Qamar and singer Bilal Saeed are facing criticism after a promotional clip from their latest music video called 'Qubool' inside the historical Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore went viral online on August 8.
The artists' names became the top trend on Twitter as a short video clip from the song went viral.
Soon after, the actress reacted to the criticism in a series of tweets.
According to Qamar, only a short clip was shot at the mosque, which was a prologue to the music video featuring a nikah (wedding) scene.
“Presenting the ‘Qubool’ teaser. This is also the only sequence that was shot at the historical Wazir Khan Mosque. It’s a prologue to the music video featuring a Nikah scene. It was neither shot with any sort of playback music nor has it been edited to the music track. #SabaQamar,” @s_qamarzaman posted on Twitter.
Referring to the ‘twirl’ in the video social media users objected to, in another tweet she wrote, "The BTS (behind the scenes) video that's been circulated on social media was just a circular movement to click stills for the poster of ‘Qabool’ depicting a happily married couple right after their nikah."
In a final tweet about the issue, Qamar wrote: “Despite this if we have unknowingly hurt anyone’s sentiments we apologise to you all with all our heart. Love & Peace! #Qubool releasing on 11th of August!
However, many netizens were not convinced and deemed the video shoot “disrespectful”.
Tweep @FurqanaAyazQazi wrote: “Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed's song shoot at a masjid is an abdominal act. Song shoots, film shoots, and drama recordings in a masjid are not acceptable. … have some sense and decency.”
Some even asked to “ban” the artists.
Twitter user @umme_rehan posted: “We ban Saba Qamar and Bilal Saeed for dancing in masjid. We will not watch your dramas anymore.”
Punjab Chief Minister takes action
The Punjab Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department on August 9 suspended the manager of the historic Wazir Khan Mosque after the province's Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the music video shot inside the mosque premises. According to local media reports, Buzdar sought a report from the minister concerned and the department’s secretary about the issue.
“The mosque is the holiest place and no one can be allowed to trample upon its sanctity. Whosoever is found responsible will not be spared,” an official handout quoted the chief minister as saying, Pakistani news outlets reported.