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Mahira Khan and others called out for missing election day to attend award show in Canada

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Here’s what is happening across the border: Women vote for the first time in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan and six parties called out election rigging.

Celebrities slammed for missing poll for an award show

Pakistanis have called out several television and film celebrities on social media for missing the election to attend rehearsals for an award show in Canada, reported Gulf News.

Their absence was first pointed out by singer-actor Farhan Saeed, the former lead vocalist of the band Jal, without taking names. However, celebrities in Ontario for the ‘Hum TV awards’ soon began posting photographs of themselves from the rehearsals, infuriating quite a few Pakistanis who also initiated a petition to ban the channel.

Hum TV later took to Facebook to list reasons for holding rehearsals on 25 July for an event scheduled for 28 July.

Mahira Khan, too, justified her trip on social media, saying the appointment had been planned months in advance. Actor and writer Yasir Hussain was more defiant even as he reiterated Mahira’s argument, saying they were in the Canadian city for work.

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Assalam u alykum.. Salam is liye k musalman Gali deny se pehly jawab zaroor den.. yeh picture aur aisi bohot si aur jis mai aap ko @saeedhumayun #bushraansari @mikaalzulfiqar @hareemfarooq @thekubism @mahirahkhan @haniaheheofficial @thekubism @atifaslam @ahmedalibutt aur bohot sary aisy log jinhon ne khushi aur gham mai aap sab ka sath dia dikhai de rahy hain. #1 hum sab ka contract for #humawards #election2018 ki date se pehly ho chuka tha.. wesy toh hum sab kehty hain “work is worship” magar hum kaam karen toh “chilling in Canada” ho jata hai.. aisa kyon?? Kyon aap k favourite celebrities har wakt kar baat har galti ki mafi mangty rahen.. hum sab aam insaan hain farishty nah . We work v hard to entertain you all . Kyon Atif Aslam Bushra ansari jesy legends ko hum aik min mai zero kar dety hain? Kyon #mahirakhan ki har baat ko pakarna hum ne apna qomi farz samajh lia hai.. mai ne 2 dafa vote cast kia hai magar kuch fark nahi para .. kya aik aam insaan ki tarha mai is saal ka vote mis nahi kar sakta?? Kya apni commitment ko poora nahi kar sakta ?? Kyon aap 18 se 30 saal k log apny se bary actors ko galiyan dety rehty hain?. Aap k gharon mai kya sirf vote k bary mai bataya jata hai baron ki izzat k bary mai nahi,?? Agar hamari bhool aik jurm hai toh hamary wapas aaty hi police hamen arrest kary aur case chalae.. naye Pakistan mai bhi hum behtar law and order hi chahty hain toh let’s start with that . #respect #peace #pakistanzindabad💚💚💚 Aur han @imranabbas.official agar aap k samny k naye bachy perform kar rahy hain toh dil bara karen aur machis ko pocket mai hi rakhen Shukria 🙏🏼

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History made as election law brings out women barred from vote so far

Election 2018 will go down in history as a watershed moment for Pakistan, where several conservative areas saw women cast their votes for the first time ever, reported Dawn.

The participation of women in elections across orthodox parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan – where it’s a widely held belief that women belong at home – was the result of candidates’ bid to keep up with an election rule introduced in 2017.

The Elections Act, 2017, allows the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to declare an election void if women’s turnout in a constituency is less than 10 per cent of its total votes. As a result, Wednesday, women in certain constituencies were believed to have been herded into polling booths.

However, there were also several pockets where the men said nothing could convince them to go against “tradition”.

Amid reports of election rigging, Imran Khan’s PTI leads

Former cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was leading the race for power even as Wednesday’s election failed to throw up a clear majority for any player. Currently, PTI is leading, with the PML(N) and the PPP in the second and third position respectively.

The elections, despite the election commission’s denial, have courted much controversy over allegations of rigging, with former PM Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) threatening protests, reported Dawn.

Several other parties, including Pakistan Peoples Party, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Pakistan Sarzameen Party, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, among others, echoed the allegations.

Many parties have alleged that presiding officers at polling stations refused to give Form 45 – which contains the statement of vote counts – to polling agents and instead evicted them. The election commission, however, denied any wrongdoing and blamed the delay in results on the breakdown of the Result Transmission System (RTS) used to transfer results to the ECP.

Definite results were yet to be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan by Thursday afternoon but PTI supporters had started celebrating as soon as the polling ended. Khan’s spokesperson said the PM aspirant will address the nation at 2 pm Thursday.

Former governor’s daughter lands in hot water with ‘elitist’ tweet  

Late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s daughter Sara Taseer had to face Twitter’s wrath Wednesday when she lauded the large turnout of women voters in Balochistan but questioned their decision-making ability at the same time, reported The News International.

She then went on to invoke Plato and said people should vote only after attaining a certain level of education, adding the hashtag #justsaying.

Twitter erupted in anger over her tweets, slamming Taseer for being “elitist”. They also urged her to delete her tweet and apologise for considering illiterate women undeserving of casting their vote.


Country’s first female taxi driver struggles to earn          

Pakistan’s first female taxi driver and local legend Zahida is struggling to make a living on the male-dominated roads of Rawalpindi, reports Al Jazeera.

Widowed twice, she now has a seven-year-old daughter to look after.

“It’s a sin to be a woman in Pakistan… It’s easy for men,” the 56-year-old widow was quoted as saying, adding, “No matter how hard a woman works, they say this is a woman’s earnings. Her work is not valued the same.”

Zahida, who started driving a taxi in 1992, said that, “to compete with men, I had to be like a man”.

“In quiet moments off the road, she recites nostalgic poetry and reflects on her fate,” the report adds, ending on an optimistic note about Zahida’s journey so far. “We make our own destinies,” she was quoted as saying. “If I had sat at home, I would’ve had no future. I worked hard to get this far.”

Contributors: Hansa Kapoor, Manisha Mondal, Alind Chauhan, Prateek Gupta, Anagha Deshpande and Sharanya Munsi

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