Lahore: A civil court has summoned Pakistani cricket star and ex-captain Wasim Akram for contravening Islamic law by modelling in a liquor advertisement, court officials said on Thursday. "Civil court Judge Asma Tehsin has served a notice on Wasim on a petition filed by Fiaz Ahmed for modelling in a liquor advertisement in India," a source at the court said. Ahmed, a private citizen, said in his Wednesday petition that he had been "saddened and disappointed" by Wasim's appearance in the Indian ad. The judge ordered Wasim to appear before the court on January 7. The petitioner presented a clipping of an Indian sports magazine showing Akram wearing a T-shirt bearing a liquor advertisement. "Pakistan is an Islamic country and for Wasim, being a celebrity, promoting liquor is against Islamic laws and has caused all Muslims mental torture," Ahmed said. The petition demands civil action against Wasim and seeks damages of 25,000 Rupees ($ 431). However a Wasim family source dismissed the charges as baseless and said he never appeared in a liquor ad. A ban on alcohol has been on the books in Pakistan since the 1970s, and recent political gains by a far-right Muslim alliance has led to a crackdown by authorities on practices that are deemed un-Islamic. Wasim, 36, played in Pakistan's One-day International series in South Africa that finished on Wednesday. He is expected to return home on Saturday. The advertising row is not the only legal problem for Wasim, with the pace bowler likely to file an appeal next week against match-fixing inquiry recommendations barring him from captaining Pakistan. The recommendations of a fine of 600,000 Rupees ($ 10,270) and a ban on captaining were implemented by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in May 2000.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |
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