Actress Hajra Khan Panezai unveiled her book titled “Where the Opium Grows: Surviving Pakistan as a Woman, an Actress and Knowing Imran Khan” in Islamabad on Friday.
“We made someone [Khan] a messiah who promised us change and innovation and defended him. I include myself in this and I apologise to those who criticised him [Khan],” she said during the event.
The tell-all book contains some explosive allegations against the PTI chief as she said that her encounter with Khan was deeply troubling and a “dark experience”.
Her departure from the country in 2014 was not by choice but a consequence of coercion,she claimed.
The author faced tough questions from the journalists at the book launch event. One reporter asked if she was being used by someone.
Responding to a question about publishing the book, she said that she had a contract with a London-based which refused to publish the book fearing strict liability laws in the country.
She alleged that her social media accounts were hacked while she also faced trolls, after launching a Kindle version of the book in 2014.
“I decided to forget the mistakes I committed and all that I documented regarding my life because I faced huge backlash for it,” she claimed.
Panezai is originally from Balochistan and made her television debut in 2009 with Geo’s drama “Buri Aurat” and also appeared in the 2018 film Pinky Memsaab.
“This is a stunning memoir of one woman’s escape from a deprived region of Pakistan, Quetta, known for the opium trade and influx of refugees post-Soviet war, to becoming a successful actress, capturing the attention of the country’s most eminent figure, Imran Khan,” says the foreword to the book.