The first-ever Miss Universe Pakistan pageant has sparked controversy in the country. Erica Robin from Karachi was crowned Miss Universe Pakistan and will represent Pakistan at the global Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador later this year. While her achievement was praised by many, some conservative elements raised objections, questioning how anyone could represent Pakistan without official approval. Religious scholar Taqi Usmani called for action against those responsible for the pageant, and Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan criticized it as shameful for Pakistan. Journalist Ansar Abbasi also questioned who approved the participation of Pakistani women in the pageant. Information Minister Murtaza Solangi clarified that the government did not officially nominate anyone for such activities. Media reports suggested that the Foreign Office may have waded into the matter, but the Spokesperson denied issuing any statements on the matter. Official scrutiny over a beauty contest was criticized as a non-issue by many, condemning the misogynistic attitude displayed towards women’s international success. Congratulations poured in on social media for Erica Robin, the first-ever Pakistani entrant to Miss Universe. Erica acknowledged the responsibility she carries as the representative of Pakistan and vowed not to tarnish the country’s name. Model and actress Vaneeza Ahmed, who discovered Erica, criticized the mostly male critics of her achievement and questioned why women’s accomplishments face opposition while men’s achievements are celebrated.
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