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Celebrity Excuses for Missing Elections Leave Pakistanis Unamused

Celebrity Excuses for Missing Elections Leave Pakistanis Unamused

Rida Khalid

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.

This was a jab at members of their fraternity who flew to Toronto for the Hum Awards merely a day before the elections.

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.

Needless to say, the responses did not bode well with the patriotic citizens of Pakistan.

It started with the following tweets:

Soon after, a post by Imran Abbas followed that said:

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 went so far as to say that the two times he casted votes, it made no difference.

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’

Not only was this received as a direct attack on supporters of a certain party, it was also a personal remark on people. Soon after, the responses began pouring in:

—————— @ahmedalibutt @yasir.hussain131 first of all stop complaining about your work, you aren’t in Canada solving world hunger or poverty, neither are you guys there to find a cure for AIDS, you guys are literally there to celebrate your work, your sh*tty work that has not helped improved the lives of anyone in Pakistan. So stop using the “word hard” card because you guys ain’t done sh*t for your country through your work! Secondly you entertainers choose to be in the public eye a decision you wisely take when you sign your contracts for whatever film/drama/music you work in. You take that decision consciously to be in front of the camera, in the public eye so stop using the lame excuse that you should be treated like a an average citizen. An average citizen does not choose to be in the public eye or at a stage where his work is displayed for the public to recognize or seek entertainment from. You work hard to earn your bread and butter, and you ain’t doing us a favour so dispose that “we work hard” card. If anyone of you was loyal to your work you would be true ambassadors of our country our customs or culture, you would be out there telling people how amazing Pakistan is how amazing our people are rather incorporating and adopting shitty cross border culture into your so called entertainment/s.
————— U guys are the ambassadors of Pakistan U shud hav been the first ones to vote for NayaPakistan, I realize u Yasir n whole humawards team is Faarigh
—————— @ahmedalibutt sahab , you are forgetting that you are a public figure. A lot of people admire you and are your followers. What message are you giving to your fans and followers by prioritising anything over your civic duty?? You just devalued the importance of casting the vote with this post of yours!
—————— Jin logo ne famous kia unhi ko bol rahay ho k “we have seen more places than you” sharam magar tumko ati nahi
——————– Seen more places than you eikkkessss ,! Shows ur mentality.
——————– Aglay 5 saal ke liye apne patriotic tweets apne paas rakhna .. u have no right to complain now!!
——————- I’m a cargo pilot…I took two days off work…lost 2 days of salary…but still the trip to Pakistan and made sure to vote. These assholes know they f***** up and use their privellege and ego to talk down to us commoners. What rubbish!

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.

The stars who prioritized their national responsibility over their work commitments also took to social media. Bilal Khan tweeted the following photograph:

Samina Peerzada tweeted:

Vasay Chaudry:

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.

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Rida Khalid
Rida Khalid

An English Literature graduate with a passion for Psychology. An avid reader, writer, poet (self-proclaimed) and part-time fitness trainer. Currently working with NIC, Lahore. I spin words to make my narcissistic wit sound like diffident profundity. The above feels a lot like braggadocio, meh!

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