Merely a week or so after Meera’s unfortunate encounter with the police during the PSL finale, the superstar has found herself in yet another controversy – this time with the Punjab Institute of Language, Arts and Culture (PILAC). As per Meera’s statements, the institute owes her Rs25,000 for attending the recent Spring Festival in Lahore.
PILAC had invited a number of celebrities to headline the first day of the Festival, one of whom was Meera. However, when the actor showed up – that too, after refusing to enter for a long time – she reportedly began shouting at the organizers, asking them to pay her. Later on, she also took the stage and demanded her due remuneration.
According to Meera, it is common for event organizers in Lahore to reap benefits from celebrities and not pay up. “They make huge amounts of money but never pay us any of it. I don’t have any personal issues with the PILAC administration. Dr Sugra paid me from her own pocket and realising my troubles, has asked me to perform on March 17 as well, in return for Rs100, 000.”
Meera continued, “For the last two years, I have been travelling to different places for work and just returned to Lahore, which is in a crunch in terms of money and work. I want to go out and search for something to do but it’s painful since I don’t have money to purchase tickets either. How will I manage without money?”
“I am also planning on consulting with scholar Moulana Tariq Jamil to get some religious guidance to help me through this difficult time,” added Meera. “How else will I manage when there is no work for me? The Punjab government should take notice of my situation seriously.”
On the flipside, PILAC officials claim that they had invited the celebrities simply for them to honor the Festival and Meera is the only one to demand money. The latter apparently made sure to inform the media officials present at the event that she was not being paid due to which, PILAC director Dr Sugra Sadaf was forced to hand her Rs25,000.
“We had planned to pay the performers only and Meera was not invited to perform – she was just a guest,” said Dr Sugra. “But she was demanding money and left me no choice but to pay her from my own pocket. She was claiming that she is having a financial crisis so I went ahead.”
While the Hotal star is indeed going through a tough time financially, having asked CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to help her out too. Also, sources within the PILAC told media that Meera was actually not invited to the event at all. According to them, she merely showed up to create a ruckus.
But when asked about this, Meera responded in the negative, adding that she had to rent a car out to get to the event. “All the artists here in Lahore, including me, are currently in a very tough spot. There is hardly any work to be done and I at least want to speak with the Chief Minister to discuss my situation with him in person,” said Meera. “I want to re-start my showbiz career and produce a film but I don’t have the money to do so. Therefore, I want to request the CM to help me.”