According to a visibly upset Maya Khan, all the people that she had questioned during her morning show’s infamous episode on dating couples were paid actors.
Speaking on the show Frontline, hosted by Kamran Shahid, Maya claimed that the entire episode was scripted. “The idea was to highlight the issue of ‘unethical activities’ that are taking place in our parks,” Maya said.
When questioned why she conducted such a programme, Maya defended herself, saying she had received numerous complaints from worried parents who were concerned about such ‘immoral activities’.
While criticising the media and civil society for ganging up against her, Maya said she was never given a chance to present her side of the story.
“What was the rest of the media trying to achieve by repeatedly airing clips of my show? Where were the media ethics when people showed my wedding pictures … and did shows pointing fingers at my character?” Maya questioned.
Calling herself a popular morning show host, Maya asked, “Is there no difference between a sin and a mistake?”
“I have been under house arrest ever since the media outcry against my show started. I am abused through phone calls, text messages and via Facebook,” she complained.
Maya’s husband Waseem Molani, while speaking on the show via telephone, said that he had always advised Maya to move to the US, but she refused to do so because “she wanted to stay in Pakistan and help her people.”
Maya also invited two of the purportedly paid actors in her programme to the Frontline show. She further provided Shahid with a DVD with recorded statements from the female actors. However, these actors wore veils.
Frontline host Shahid accused her of misleading and “bluffing her audience” and asked her to render an unconditional apology to her viewers and the people of Pakistan. Maya said “leaving aside what I did was wrong or not, I ask for forgiveness from my fans: I am really, very, very sorry.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2012.