The season of slander is just not ending in Pakistan. This time it is a former Pakistani military officer who has indulged in alleged mud-slinging. Adil Raja, a retired Major, is facing a bitter backlash after making scandalous accusations against senior army officers of using popular Pakistani actresses and models as “honey-traps.”
Raja, who runs a YouTube channel by the name of “Soldier Speaks”, which has more than 290,000 subscribers, released a video on 31 December claiming that prominent Pakistani models and actors had been “used” as bait by the country’s intelligence services to film scandalous footage of politicians and other influential individuals. Some Pakistani actresses and models were even working to trap politicians alongside former ISI chief Faiz Hameed and General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, he alleged.
Raja didn’t directly name the actresses and models allegedly involved but mentioned their initials: “First one is MH, second is MK, third is AK (in another video, it sounds like KK) and fourth is SA.”
That was enough for Twitter to turn speculative, with many Pakistanis starting the guesswork, according to which, MK and KK stood for Mahira Khan and Kubra Khan, respectively. Mehwish Hayat and Sajal were other names that the Pakistanis guessed.
Sajal, who starred in the 2017 Bollywood film Mom with Sridevi wrote on Twitter Monday: “It is very sad that our country is becoming morally debased and ugly; character assassination is the worst form of humanity and sin.”
Kubra Khan , starred as lead in serials like Shaadi Mubarak ho (2015), Sang-e-Mar Mar (2016), too, shared a message threatening to sue Adil: “Before you start to heap allegations upon people, have some proof first. You have a total of three days to come up with this proof which you claim is the truth. If not, either retract your statement and publicly apologise or I will be suing you for defamation.”
However, Raja clarified saying he had said ‘AK’ instead of KK and never named Kubra.
Mehwish who appears in Urdu films and TV serials made her debut in the film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani (2015) , took to Twitter and called it ‘gutter journalism’. Her tweet said, “ Hope you’re enjoying your two mins of fame. Just because I am an actress doesn’t mean my name can be dragged through the mud. Shame on you for spreading baseless allegations and insinuations about someone you know nothing about & even bigger shame on people who believe this bullshit. This just shows the sickness of our society that laps up this gutter journalism without any thought.”
Raja, facing severe condemnation from actors and military officers, took to Twitter and wrote: “There are numerous names of models, actresses, and celebrities in Pakistan and abroad, with the initials that I have mentioned. I do not endorse and condemn any of the names of the celebrities being mentioned by anyone on any forum/social media in this regard. Having said that I’m appalled at the social media trends and mindset of our society, which is fixated on the women being abused instead of the abusers and the cause of abuse.”
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In a separate matter, a senior Pakistani military official has filed a defamation lawsuit against Adil Raja in the London High Court in the UK for engaging in a slanderous campaign against him on social media. The suit is said to have been filed in August 2022, but was made public on Tuesday following the ongoing ‘Honey Trap’ controversy.
The UK High Court was informed by the ISI officer’s representatives that Raja “conducted a determined and prolific social media campaign against the Claimant publishing very many Tweets and videos, many of which are seriously defamatory of the Claimant, and all of which, due to their content, tone, and frequency, have caused the Claimant serious harm.”
Raja moved to London from Islamabad after problems arose between him and the Pakistan Army. Since then, he has made allegations of “regime change” conspiracy, naming several serving military officers.
Raja told Geo News that his tweets and blogs were based on the information “provided by highly placed sources within the Pakistani Establishment”.
(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)