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3 Things that Stood Out in Khatoon-e-Awwal’s First Ever Interview

3 Things that Stood Out in Khatoon-e-Awwal’s First Ever Interview

Saniya Rashid
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The first lady of Pakistan gave her first interview to Hum News a day ago. Anchored by Nadeem Malik, the interview saw Bushra Bibi discuss a wide range of things including the PM Imran Khan’s personal habits to her own personality.

Repeating the narrative of austerity, Bushra Bibi discussed at length how simple Imran Khan is in his personal life as well. We understand the inevitability of these questions when Malik revealed that the interview will be discussing the first couple’s personal life as well. Therefore, the interview itself does leave us wanting to know more about the first lady her self. Because what little she has revealed about herself is quite interesting.

So keeping the focus strictly on Bushra Bibi’s personality (and not on her religion), here is what we found noteworthy in her interview.

When asked about whether she misses her old life of helping others through a religious route, she noted the personal growth in herself.

Bushra Bibi revealed that in her role as the first lady she learned that while solitary worship is important, it is of high importance to serve humanity as well. This is something our esteemed public can surely learn something from. Just to put an example to this assertion: A lady went off in the comments section of a rape case news story. She blamed the victim for not taking the necessary precaution such as doing ‘pardah’ from the male gaze. When some reasonable people reprimanded her she went on to say, ‘I have plenty of hidayat, I have even done my Umrah’. Our people need to know that an ‘umrah’ doesn’t exonerate you from your civic duty to condemn criminal activities. And you praying five times a day doesn’t absolve you from potentially doing a disservice to abuse victims and their struggle for justice. So, thank you, khatoon-e-awwal, for setting the record straight.

She even narrated a heartwarming anecdote about her relationship with ‘motu’, Imran Khan’s pet dog. 

Contrary to popular belief that ‘kutta aik napaak janwar hai’, Bushra bibi revealed how one can learn much from a ‘bezuban janwar’. She narrated how once she was praying and motu circled her prayer mat, she got a bit upset at the dog but then found him sitting behind the sofa. According to her, motu seemed a bit teary eyed. She says that since then she has been taking care of motu and he follows her everywhere. We are glad to hear that someone who is nowadays referenced in terms of religion a lot is actually taking a more reasonable view towards dogs as pets.

We also learned a lot about her charitable endeavors. 

Bushra bibi talked at length about the orphanages she has been visiting. She used to visit private organizations but ever since she became the first lady, she has been visiting different types of organizations. Now, the narrative of a first lady indulging in philanthropic works isn’t something new. It is noteworthy, nevertheless, because Bushra bibi accedes to the fact that her position gives the ability to do more wherever and whenever possible. Not because she wants people to know but because she actively believes serving humanity is the way to go. To be honest, even if it comes with a photo-op, let’s try not to complain if it helps fix the measly conditions of orphanages or helps alleviate the lives of women and the disabled in Pakistan.

We must be wary that inconsiderate comparisons to Reham Khan are a disservice to the current first lady. We need to adopt a deferential attitude towards her owing to one simple fact that whoever is in the limelight by association with a powerful politician, doesn’t automatically sign up to be the brunt of tasteless jokes. Like she suggested, comment on her personality, comment on the way she speaks, but not her pardah. Her interview was quite level headed and frankly showed a very humble first lady. Even when the anchor inquired about her ‘ibadat’ in terms of fasting, she respectfully suggested that anyone’s worship should not be up for public knowledge because it doesn’t benefit anyone. Not sure about you but this was major shade at everyone who thinks commenting on people’s personal religious actions is appropriate. Or on the contrary, publically condemning anyone’s liberal outlook is okay.

She certainly didn’t have to bring herself to the limelight but she did. And we are glad because hopefully, it will give the trolls a rest.

Check out the full interview below!

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