The last 24 hours have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Not only did the General Elections take place but the many glitches in the result announcement have kept the population on the edge of their seats. Given Pakistan’s precarious political history, the majority of the population was in no mood to joke around about the elections this time around. Because of this, celebrities like Farhan Saeed and Imran Abbas were quick to point out the importance of every single vote.
Perhaps driven by a sense of responsibility towards their motherland, Mahira Khan, Ahmed Ali Butt, and Yasir Hussain all issued respective statements as a response to the inquiries made.
It started with the following tweets:
— Farhan Saeed (@farhan_saeed) July 23, 2018
As a result of these responses from the actors already in Toronto, came pouring in. Yasir Hussain claimed that he held a responsibility to his work commitments and could not get out of them. However, his post was not apologetic and took jabs, not at the population he felt was “judging” him but also singled Imran Abbas out as someone who was fanning the flame. Needless to say, the post did not gel well with people and they called the actor out for his hypocrisy and lack of consideration towards the actual matter at hand.
He further stated that he is a regular citizen and like any commoner, he wishes to exercise his right to choose not to vote. This puts to question whether people who have a higher standing in the media hierarchy are using the power of their words for the better or are they reinforcing the belief that “one vote won’t make a difference.” As a result, several responses sparked and none that supported Hussain.
Soon after, Ahmed Ali Butt followed with his statement. Not only did Butt refuse to issue anything remotely close to sounding like an apology, he boasted about his travel privileges. He listed how not casting a vote does not make him any less of a Pakistani. He called out the people who sell their votes for a plate of biryani. The cherry on top was the line that read:
We all work very hard to be where we want to be and Allah ka shuker hay have seen more places than you so ‘itnay mar nahi rahay hum log bahir Janay k leya’
And the comments continued. People pointed out the likes of Iqra Aziz, Bilal Khan, Vasay Chaudry, and Samina Peerzada claiming they demonstrated what it means to be a Pakistani. Mahira Khan also posted on her Instagram account and stated what can be called an apology in comparison. However, she also turned “comments off” for this particular post.
Important message. Will you vote? pic.twitter.com/2U4H6dTPB8
— Bilal Khan (@bilalkhan) July 24, 2018
Samina Peerzada tweeted:
I will cast my Vote then leave for Hum awards in Toronto.
— Samina Peerzada (@SaminaSays) July 24, 2018
A 14 hour flight to get to THIS. pic.twitter.com/bGpaWUBnZN
— vasay chaudhry (@vasaych) July 25, 2018
This goes to question if the actors who left sooner could’ve waived their work “responsibility” till after the elections. Where some made the decision to fly back to cast their votes, other chose to fly after.