Pakistani actress Mahira Khan has shared her regret at not being able to vote amid social media backlash against celebrities who flew abroad for an awards ceremony ahead of general elections.
Many leading celebrities from the Pakistan television, fashion and music industries are in Toronto, Canada for an awards show organised by a private TV network which is scheduled to be held on July 28. The absence of some of the most prominent names during the polls riled up social media users, who slammed the celebrities for being away at such a crucial occasion.
Mahira, via her Instagram, clarified that she “tried her best” but “unfortunately…there was absolutely no way to delay my work commitment.”
“As much as I want to be there tomorrow, it is unfortunate that I can not be. There was absolutely no way to delay my work commitment which was scheduled months in advance, I tried my best. And so with a heavy heart I will not be voting this year. I urge all of you to get out and vote!! May this year bring the change we all have been waiting to see. InshAllah. Pakistan zindabad!!!” she posted.
Industry veteran Samina Peerzada, however, chose to stay back to vote before heading out to Canada for the awards show.
She shared a picture of herself holding out her inked thumb earlier today.
The backlash was triggered by a tweet from singer Farhan Saeed, who called out his colleagues for being away from Pakistan during the polls.
“All the people from my fraternity & otherwise travelling abroad at such a crucial time is so heart-breaking . Please let’s not take our country’s future for granted,” he tweeted.
“I’m so glad that someone said this out loud. I wish everyone would understand how crucial it is to get out and vote. For our own present and future,” one Twitter user posted.
“If you aren’t casting a vote then you don’t have the right to complain about the system of Pakistan. You aren’t doing your duty how can you hold someone else accountable for not doing their duty? Please stop being a hypocrite, go out and vote for the one you think is best for Pakistan,” another angry user tweeted.