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Is a Miss Pakistan Pageant Appropriate Right Now?

Is a Miss Pakistan Pageant Appropriate Right Now?

Three weeks after the start of Pakistan’s floods that have affected 20 million people homeless and killed 2,000, the Miss Pakistan World pageant is set to take place in Toronto this weekend.

Many are dercrying the decision to hold the event, arguing the timing is inappropriate and insensitive to those suffering. Pakistani Assembly Member and leading women’s rights activist Dr. Amna Buttar argued, “The organizers’ actions are so far from reality that it shows they have no connection to Pakistani life.” Former Miss Pakistan World Naomi Zaman agrees the pageant should be postponed, reasoning, “At this moment, people are traumatized due to the flood disaster. We as Pakistanis abroad should all be focusing on helping the victims.” She added, “I’m hoping there will be some type of fundraising going on at the pageant.”

However the pageant’s president Sonia Ahmed believes it should go on, explaining, “I feel very sad about the disaster but, as a Pakistani, it’s my right and responsibility to bring my country out in this world in a lighter image…my duty as a Pakistani is to show the world that Pakistanis are not terrorists, honor killers or fundamentalists.”

Organizers also point out that it is nearly impossible to cancel or postpone the event at this point. Women of Pakistani descent from around the world have traveled to Toronto to prepare, and all arrangements are in place. “People have paychecks depending on this event,” Ahmed noted.

The Miss Pakistani World pageant, held every year in Toronto, is open to the entire Pakistani diaspora. Contestants parade in both Western and Pakistani gowns, perform Western and South Asian dances and answer questions about Pakistani politics, with the swimsuit competition having been eliminated several years ago. Although the organization received applications from many women in Pakistan, Ahmed explained the complicated visa process prevented any of them from competing.

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Sonisona, commons.wikimedia.org


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143 comments

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1:11AM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

11:45PM PDT on Sep 8, 2010

I believed that any kind of efforts for humanitarian are fine.thanks miss Pakistan..

12:21AM PDT on Sep 1, 2010

I think having a pageant can bring a brightness to the situation that looks bleak. I'm sure there will be a push to help raise monies to start working on the victims who need to rebuild.

Why be so negative? I think these beautiful ladies are a ray of sunshine to a world that already has too much bad news.

6:14PM PDT on Aug 31, 2010

I hope they use this pagent to raise money and awareness for the flooding and hardships in Pakistan at this time.

11:17PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

TY~ This is absolutely repulsive to me, under any situation. I agree with Linda that if monies are going to help the situation {which I doubt} it would be an exception for me. THE ENERGY PUT INTO WOMEN THINKING THE OUTER BEAUTY IS SOMETHING TO ASPIRE TO, is disgusting and creates so many insecure women at the very least of so many mental,physical,emotion,and spiritual problems. Pakistan needs help...it is still a travesty and the energy should be put into helping her country. At the very least. Thank you for this post. Thank you Sioux for bringing this to my attention.

11:53AM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

Are we debating whether Pakistani women should go on with a planned event during a crisis in their home country or if they should have a beauty pageant AT ALL because they are from predominantly Muslim countries? If you read the article AGAIN, it does state that they ELIMINATED THE BATHING SUIT PART, so they are scaling exposure down to terms THEY find more palatable anyway. Second, Americans, if you read my former post, THAT PAGEANT TOOK PLACE NEXT TO AN ARMY BASE ONE MONTH AFTER 9/11!!! I don't remember hearing anyone protesting US going on with business as usual, in fact, there were many ENCOURAGING us to go on with our lives to help reestablish normalcy in the hysteria. Last, and I'll leave this one alone, I promise, IF THEY WANT TO WALK AROUND NAKED UNDER THEIR BURKAS I could care less! It's THEIR country, THEIR crisis, THEIR CONSCIENCE. I don't know if you have noticed, but AMERICA IS IN A MELT DOWN and we are in not position to be the World Pageant Police. Let them do as they wish and I hope the contestants have such a great time in a free atmosphere, they decide to take some positive measures for women back home. Welcome your foreign sisters. Show them what a great place this is and teach them by your own actions, what FREEDOM really means, and they will take it back home, I promise. It may take a while, but honey ALWAYS gets more than vinegar. Strike a Pose Pakistani Women!

10:21AM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

That woman is full of crap.Instead of hosting a 'who is more beautiful and looks hot in a bikini contest',she should be donating and creating a fund raiser to help her people.Beauty contests are so over rated anyways.It is really based on the outside beauty of a woman than it is her personality and brain power.Get her butt out there and help them.I do have to agree on the flip side,that it can be used as a fund raiser to help them.But if that is not the case,than it shouldn't be held.

11:07AM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

fund raiseing a must

9:28AM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

I don't think this is inappropriate at all. The show has already been planned, & I doubt they would use the airtime for some help-Pakistan-telethon anyways. Hopefully some fundraising will go on. We still had all of our TV shows during Katrina, etc.

4:58AM PDT on Aug 24, 2010

haha, it IS a form of zoo - beauty pageants - animals parading up 'n down in a small area, bearing their teeth... alot like a crazed, caged lion does when stressed-out... (damn, that's good!) :)

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