"I am not in the favour of child marriage"
Hira Mani has returned to social media with an apology following her take on the Dua Zehra case that recently landed her in hot waters.
The actress shared a video message on her Instagram, detailing how “wrong” she was to have supported Dua and Zaheer Abbas’s marriage.
Hira also assured her fans that she is not in the favour of child marriages or kidnapping.
She has also alleged she was unaware of the abduction charges, since she “was on vacation in Dubai,” and only received whatever information she had about the case through YouTube vlogs.
On July 25, 2022, after Dua had been placed in a child protection centre in Karachi, Hira wrote on her Instagram Story:
“I want Dua and Zaheer to never separate. I am sure Allah will listen to my prayer.”
Her remark sparked a furore on social media as users began calling her out for passing her opinions without doing her research.
In response to the criticism, the Meray Paas Tum Ho actress went on to defend herself.
She shared: “I am not politically right but emotionally correct. That is why I am Hira Mani.”
Now, in her video message, Hira has acknowledged: “Two days ago, I shared a story in which I had written in favour of Dua and Zaheer.
“I was unaware that this was a case of kidnapping and Dua is underage.
“I was on vacation in Dubai and I had some time on my hands so I watched a couple of videos on YouTube about them, including their interviews with YouTubers and formed an opinion, which was wrong.”
Asserting that “there is nothing wrong in apologising,” the Yaqeen Ka Safar actress continued: “I have a lot of fans who love and support me and it is because of these fans that I’m a star.
“And I don’t know how to upset my fans. So, I’m sorry if you were hurt by what I said, even I am hurt by what I said.”
Hira credited her husband, Mani, for sitting her down and imparting his knowledge which led to her change of heart and mind.
She said: “It wasn’t until Mani sat me down and explained to me how complex the Dua Zehra case really is, that I came to realise how terrified her parents must’ve been.
“And I’m a daughter myself, I know how upset my dad would get seeing me upset, I know how upset he would be right now.”
As for those criticising her for “condoning child marriage and kidnapping,” the actor added:
“I am not in the favour of child marriage and definitely not in the favour of kidnapping.
“But seeing how some people are blowing my statement out of proportion has hurt me too. I was in the wrong and I admit that.
“It’s a shame that after Aamir Liaquat, I have to be the one making a video to explain myself like this. And truly I am upset for two days now.
“I landed back in Karachi and I did not meet anyone. Everyone in my family and friends circle advised me to talk to the public.
“So here I am, praying that God protects Dua Zehra and her family and every girl out there.”
In April 2022, Dua Zehra went missing from her house in Karachi and was later recovered from Lahore where she had “eloped” to.
Forced into marriage with Zaheer Abbas, provided that a DNA test has confirmed she is not old enough to consent to marriage, the police have declared Zaheer involved in the “abduction” of his now “wife”.