A timeline chronicling the denouncement of Mohsin Abbas Haider, whose wife has accused him of domestic violence
  • 03 Aug - 09 Aug, 2019
  • Attiya Abbass
  • Spotlight

A timeline chronicling the denouncement of Mohsin Abbas Haider, whose wife has accused him of domestic violence July has been inexplicably emotional and introspective for the masses. Certain events which have unfolded in the course of a few weeks reinforce one naked fact – Pakistan perhaps, is on the verge of becoming the worst places for women to live in. Domestic and sexual violence, harassments of all types and degrees have remained to be the issues that are left to be addressed for the longest measure of time. The newest ripple induced to this unshrinking pool of crime was when certain celebrities and influencers, the people had come to admire, were found guilty. A lapping wave of allegations, accusations and personal stories have flooded the internet, with actor Mohsin Abbass Haider at its apex. 

Mohsin Abbass Haider vs Fatima Sohail

A timeline July 20 - Fatima’s digital confession

11.29 p.m. on a Saturday night, a Facebook post made by Fatima Sohail goes viral on the internet. “Zulm bardasht karna bhi gunah hai…” Mohsin’s wife begins, alleging that his husband had subjected her to domestic violence when she was pregnant and cheated on her with an emerging model. “On November 26, 2018, I caught my husband cheating. When I confronted him, instead of being embarrassed he started beating me. I was pregnant at that time,” accused Sohail.

“On July 17, I went to Mohsin's home and asked him to take our son's responsibility where he started beating me again! He refused to do anything for his son! Now I’ve had enough... I had enough of verbal and physical abuse. I had enough of divorce threats."

July 20 – “Sasti feminist naa bano…” curses the husband

The NMA actor’s comment (from his personal account) under Fatima’s confessional post went viral, drawing the alleged abuser hate from all quarters. The comment had an obscene cuss aimed at Fatima, saying, “Sasti feminist naa bano. Ghar akar mamla suljhatey hain.”

July 21 – The Malick sisters and Gohar Rasheed come out as witnesses

Two eye-witnesses to the incident, namely Dua Malick and Mirza Gohar Rasheed claimed to have witnessed Mohsin’s “brutality” first hand, but were silenced by his wife who wanted to “save her marriage.” Dua’s Instagram story narrated the past incident: "I am sure to say I am the only eye witness in this industry. I have kept this fire in my heart for three years. I have seen him beating her on the road and where not.” She continued with the account saying, “I have seen him harassing her so much that she didn’t speak to her family and friends for years. It’s only me she has called out of fear and harassments hidden like a prisoner, locking door from outside for three years and I kept on telling her to grab some courage and speak out.” Following suit, Mirza Gohar Rasheed took to Twitter to say how he was a “second hand witness to it in 2018 when Fatema Sohail was rushed to the hospital” after Mohsin Abbas Haider brutally beat his wife.

“Through her I got to know the whole story. Fatima is like a sister to me. She wanted to save her marriage and ensure the health of her baby so we respected that and kept quiet,” his tweet read.

July 22 – Celebrities and public figures lash out at Mohsin

Mahira Khan and Osama Khalid Butt were the first from the entertainment industry to extend their support and sympathies to the victim and ridicule the NMA actor. It was midnight when Mahira Khan took to Twitter, expressing regret over the normalcy and rampancy of domestic abuse. “Sick to my stomach. What gives anybody the right to raise their hand on anyone? Nothing. No excuse. For eons now we have normalised abuse (of all kinds) and for the sake of our children this needs to stop.”

The very night Osama Khalid Butt channelled his rage in a tweet rage remarking that there is ‘a special place in hell’ reserved for people like his Baaji co-star.

“I've been staring at this screen, grappling with the images I saw, trying to form a coherent sentence. There is a special place in hell reserved for anyone who would lay so much as a finger on a woman.

You cannot justify abuse.

It is indefensible.

I am sick to my stomach.”

More celebrities including Sajal Aly, Mansha Pasha, Meesha Shafi, Ushna Shah, Hania Amir, Asim Azhar, Haroom Shahid came out with #TimesUp hashtags, supporting the victim.

July 22 – Hamza Ali Abbasi issues statement as a witness

The fourth witness to join the ranks was the politically-active Hamza. Strengthening Fatima’s defence he stated that Gohar Rasheed took him into confidence with the victim’s story when it had freshly happened. “Have never met her but everything Fatima Sohail/Gohar Rasheed say is true. He told me about it as Fatima’s friends including him were trying to help her as she went to the hospital after being beaten up by Mohsin.”

July 22 – “Not every teary-eyed woman is always right. Men are also wronged,” said Mohsin in his presser

Two days post his wife’s accusation, Mohsin broke silence in a press conference, categorically denying allegations planted by his wife. Placing his hand on the Holy Quran, Mohsin called his marriage to Fatima “toxic,” adding, “I’m old-fashioned, we don't talk about a woman’s respect and honour publicly and in the media but now remaining silent isn't an option.” He claimed that this is Fatima’s revenge against him for getting married again, a right which has been given to him by his religion and the country’s constitution. He challenged his wife to come forward with evidence.

When questioned about the obscene comment from his Facebook on Fatima’s post, he said that someone is attempting to hack his Instagram and that he does not have access to his social media accounts at the moment.

July 22 – Victim reacts to Mohsin’s presser

“I only intend to provide my son with all his legitimate rights by his father,” asserted Fatima in reaction to his husband’s press conference. She rebuffed the statements the actor had made and stated, “He is trying to confuse the public. Seeking treatment for depression and anger issues is another thing and beating a woman black and blue is another! He is trying to scam the people.”

July 23 – FIR lodged against Mohsin

Late Tuesday, a FIR was registered against the singer-turned-actor on behalf of his wife. The first information report encompassed charges of threats to kill as well as a breach of trust, police at the Defence station chose to omit Mohsin Abbas Haider's extra-marital affair. The petition brought forward by Sohail clearly stated that her abusive husband had an extra-marital affair with a woman, whom he drunkenly brought home with him.

July 23 – Dunya TV fires MHA from “Mazaaq Raat”

In reaction to the accusations, public sentiments and massive uproar on social media, the management of the show decided to let go off of their presenter “until he is proven innocent in the court of law.”

July 24 – Accused granted interim bail

The Lahore Sessions Court accepted Mohsin’s petition for interim bail against a bond worth Rs 50,000 and prevented police from arresting him.

July 25 – “You all are part of this big drama,” Jami Moor’s insightful statement

One known to mince no words, Jami has emerged as staunch supporter of the #MeToo movement. In a Facebook post, the acclaimed filmmaker threw shade at Sohail’s supporters for waiting for the right time to join the “easiest bandwagon,” he declared. “All those actors and singers and normal humans who are standing up for Mohsin Haider’s wife please remember most of you, didn’t say a word for LUX style awards madness. Some even knew he was beating his wife but waited for the right time to support her. Mind boggling society,” he wrote on Facebook.

July 25 – “I wish there was an NGO to support men’s right,” – MHA

A comment which earned him laugh-offs from all quarters, Mohsin was found to be distraught since “No NGO has contacted me.” He added, “They have only heard Fatima's side of the story and are only supporting her… which isn't a bad thing but I really wish we had NGOs to protect men's rights, to hear our side of the story too.” Shaineira Akram took to twitter writing, “Yes there is. It’s called Don’t Beat Your Wife Up Foundation. It’s a really good one, comes with high recommendation.”

This is a developing story. Mohsin is an alleged abuser under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code and additional charges of giving life threats on the complainant. He is currently out on anticipatory bail and the next court hearing is scheduled for August 5, 2019.