A lot happened this year, and subsequently a lot was said.
Hamza Ali Abbasi’s controversial statements made headlines, while Adnan Sami’s pro-India tweets angered a whole nation. It was a year when Aisha Khan’s TV character’s Jeena managed to provoke trolls into making her a meme on social media.
Here are 12 quotes which sum up this year:
1) “I’m a girl power. So many girls tell me I’m a girl power, and yes, I am”: Qandeel Baloch
The social media sensation who has left a lasting impression on the world believed that she was more than just her notorious risqué videos, she considered herself “girl power.”
In an interview with Images, Qandeel Baloch said, “I’m a girl power. So many girls tell me I’m a girl power, and yes, I am. The media isn’t giving me any credit for speaking about empowerment of women, girl power.”
Having been married to a man she alleged abused her, Qandeel confessed that none of her family members supported her which forced her to flee to another city. Even after having run away, she continued to support her family financially.
She was brutally murdered by her brothers on July 16 this year.
2) “I’ am like an Angel… mankind’s Angel, my heart is like a rose… mankind’s soul”: Taher Shah
Does this Angel need an introduction? Kidding.
Taher Shah has a way with words, and we’re talking strictly of his lyrical talent. Though we may not see eye-to-eye when it comes to his music, possibly owing to his songs being otherwordly, Taher’s most recent offering, Angel, left everyone speechless — including Americans.
The music video shows the singer clad in a purple dress with a tiara. And if that weren’t enough, the famous lyrics from his song: “I am like an Angel… mankind’s Angel, my heart is like a rose… mankind’s soul,” garnered quite a response from the people.
It’s hardly a surprise the video went viral soon after its release.
3) “Why is Ahmadi such a taboo word?”: Hamza Ali Abbasi
This one was a bit hard as to the vocal star’s countless outbursts on social media. However, Hamza Ali Abbasi’s most prominent and impactful quote was during his Ramazan transmission, Ramzan Hamara Emaan with Aisha Khan for Aaj TV, when he probed the question of Ahmadis and their plight in Pakistan.
“Why is Ahmadi such a taboo word? Ideological stances aside, my only goal is that when an Ahmadi is killed or persecuted, the media shouldn’t be scared to talk about it,” he had said.
It wasn’t long till Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) barred the actor and TV show host Shabbir Abu Talib from hosting their Ramazan shows on Aaj TV and News One respectively.
4) “Mere tu maa baap nahi hein”: Jeena (Mann Mayal)
If anybody has the get-out-jail-free card, it has to be Jeena. This fictional character played her dead parents card so well, people couldn’t stop making memes about it.
During one of the episodes while trying to make Mannu feel petty about her divorce Jeena says, “Mere tu maa baap nahi hein.” (I don’t even have parents.)
5) “I’m not engaged to anyone, guys. Relax!”: Momina Mustehsan
Momina Mustehsan sent Pakistani men in a daze after the release of her debut Coke Studio song Afreen Afreen. Obsessed, people couldn’t get enough of her and when a rumour made rounds that she’s engaged (this was before she was hitched – by a few days, mind you), all hell broke loose on social media.
Needless to say, many were heartbroken. To put an end to all the rumours, Momina tweeted, “I’m not engaged to anyone, guys. Relax!”
Unfortunately, those who were relieved by the news only had a few days to bask in the happiness because a few days later pictures of the singer’s engagement splashed all over social media.
6) “Big congratulations to @PMOIndia and our brave armed forces for a brilliant, successful and mature strategic strike against terrorism”: Adnan Sami
Some people just never learn and one of them is Adnan Sami. The singer who was granted Indian citizenship earlier this year managed to aggravate Pakistanis the entire year round.
Following the cross fire at LoC, Pakistani and Indian celebrities were forced to share their stance on the ongoing cold war between the two countries, many siding with their respective countries. The ex-Pakistani also did something to a similar effect by tweeting his love for Modi.
In return, Pakistanis replied aggressively, calling him a ‘traitor.’
7) “Transgender people can be active members of society, just like any man or woman”: Kami (Transgender activist)
Late November, social worker Kami Sid decided to step into the fashion world and become Pakistan’s first transgender model.
The activist who has worked tirelessly for the transgender community in Pakistan felt that their community needed to be highlighted to create awareness and change societal perceptions.
She told Images in an interview, “Transgender people can be an active member of society, just like any man or woman.”
The campaign highlights the importance of embracing and empowering transgender persons as productive members of society.
8) Acting “is not honourable work”: Arshad Khan aka Chaiwala
Arshad Khan, aka Chaiwala, is proof that virality on social media is all you need to hit fame. Discovered by an Islamabad-based photographer Javeria Ali, Arshad’s picture mesmerised girls in Pakistan and across the border with his fierce, transfixed gaze as he brew tea.
He instantly gained monumental fame and landed his first modelling stint the very next day. However, even though the tea seller thinks he looks like Shah Rukh Khan, he isn’t too eager to move into his line of work.
In an interview with AFP, Arshad said: “I have not thought about (acting in) movies, because it’s not been done by anyone in our family.” He added, acting in films “is not honourable work. Pashtuns always look for work that is honourable… If I can find some clean, honourable work, I will certainly do it.”
He was so close to hitting the jackpot. However, this kind of approach is often the case in Pakistan where many see showbiz as an ‘immoral’ industry.
9) “Why is the girl always blamed for divorce?”: Annie Khalid
Pop star Annie Khalid’s second marriage riled some people up. They were quick to judge and hurled hurtful comments at the singer like, “how many times you gonna get married”, “kitni dafa shadi karo gi“, “maneater”, “vulgar woman” and “wahiyaat aurat“.
In an Instagram upload of her wedding picture, Annie shared a moving notewith all her haters and subsequently shut them down for trying to shame and blame her for the failure of her first marriage.
She wrote: I am sick and tired of the abuse I get on social media for my second marriage. YES I married AGAIN!… Why is the girl always blamed for divorce?
More power to, Annie!
10) “The Pakistani Prime Minister has said he will change the law on honour killing after watching this film. That is the power of film”: Sharmeen Obaid
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has become a household name after her second winat the Oscar’s this year for her film A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.
The Pakistani filmmaker took to the stage to collect her award and gave a powerful acceptance speech: “Thank God, I have two of them now. This is what happens when determined women get together… This week, the Pakistani Prime Minister has said that he will change the law on honour killing after watching this film. That is the power of film.”
Sharmeen’s Academy Award wins signify the importance of the entertainment industry in putting across hard-hitting messages. These achievements also came at a time of film revival in Pakistan, which has been burgeoning since last year.
11) “I’ll not engage with talent from the neighbouring country given the circumstance”: Karan Johar
During Pakistan and India’s cold-war many artists were forced to take a stance on the on-going conflict. Pakistani artists found themselves bannedfrom India by the Indian Association and Indian filmmakers were asked not to work with talent from across the border.
Those who found themselves on the wrong side of the fence were admonished. Unfortunately, in all the hullabaloo, director Karan Johar, who chose to remain silent on the issue in hopes of avoiding it, landed himself in neck-deep trouble.
KJo’s film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil which was due to release around that time, featured Pakistani artist Fawad Khan, which soon caused furor among his people. After facing threats from right-wing political parties, the director was forced to send out a video message siding with his country:
“I’d like say that of course, I’ll not engage with talent from the neighbouring country given the circumstance, but with same energy I beseech you to know that more than 300 Indians in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears into Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.”
Seems like it worked, because ADHM earned INR200 crore worldwide!
12) Imran Khan hopes he “may be third time lucky”
Honestly, Imran Khan’s marriage is more news than his political endeavours. Whether it was Jemima Khan or Reham Khan or his rumoured third marriage, people are more interested in his marriage chronicles than anything else.
Recently, Imran was in London attending a friend’s daughter’s wedding and took to the stage to joke about his third marriage while giving a speech to the newly weds. He said that though he can’t give any advice on marriage (hinting at his divorces), he hopes he “may be third time lucky.”
Instead of marriage, here’s to hoping he manages to accomplish a political feat.