On August 2, Pakistani social media users were left miffed after they spotted photographs of a couple in “bold dressing” in front of a monument dedicated to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the man behind the formation of Pakistan whom they “fondly” call Quaid-e-Azam. The photographs were first posted by a group identified as Mystical Shayari on Instagram.
The photographs were clicked on Express Highway, Islamabad. ANI’s Smita Prakash shared it on Twitter and hoped the couple is not hounded by the moral Police in Pakistan.
The fashion element, a bit over the top (in my non-expert opinion) but shock value is on point. And bravado, 100/100.— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) August 3, 2021
The models at Quaid-e-Azam Monument in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Hope they are not hounded by the moral police.
(Pix – Pak social media) pic.twitter.com/08b5gDpEhq
The photographs were taken by one Eman Mahsud, and dresses were designed by one Raja Wasey, who identifies himself as a drag artist on Instagram. While Mystical Shayari and Eman have deactivated their accounts, Wasey made his account private on Instagram after the backlash.
According to the Instagram bio of Mystical Shayari, they are part of what they call ‘Gender Jihad’.
The now-deleted post read, “A notice for the savages of Pakistani patriarchy. Allah (SWT) is with us, and we are ready to die but are committed to living for human rights and gender justice.”
Reaction from ‘Pakistani awaam’
While some Pakistanis called them vulgar, others termed the dresses ‘abnormal’. The photographs drew strong criticism from Pakistani social media users who urged authorities to take strict action against the two models for their “disrespectful” gesture.
Journalist Ansar Abbasi said in a tweet, “The DC Islamabad @hamzashafqaat is requested to arrest the couple, who displayed extreme obscenity in public in the federal capital.” He also promoted the hashtag #ArrestTheCouple.
Erum Zaeem, Journalist, Samaa TV, questioned who permitted them to have such photoshoot.
PTI’s Rashid M Khan demanded action against the couple.
یہ ایکسپریس ہائے وے اسلام آباد پر قائد اعظم کے پورٹریٹ کے آگے جو کچھ ہو رہا ہے، ملاحظہ کریں— ارم احمد خان (@IramAKhanPK) August 1, 2021
حد ہے ویسے بے حیائی اور بے شرمی کی۔ کون ہیں یہ لوگ؟ انکو فوراً گرفتار کرنا چاہیے pic.twitter.com/N90BYLBNjl
Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad’s reply
Quoting Abbasi, Hamza Shafqaat’s office sought information on the couple. He said, “Anyone with any information may plz share with us.”
Anyone with any information may plz share with us https://t.co/nrRvD9cRky— Office of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad (@dcislamabad) August 2, 2021
It is unclear if any action has been taken by the Islamabad administration against the couple.