Pakistani celebs share inked thumbs, encourage citizens to vote


It’s officially election day! As Pakistanis all over the country gear up to choose the leadership that will dictate the path on which the nation will traverse for the next few years, many celebrities are either urging citizens to vote or are showing that they have participated in the voting process.

Having either cast their votes or heading towards doing the same, these influential figures are leveraging their platforms to encourage an otherwise crestfallen nation to step up, get out, and play a key role in determining their future.

Rallying troops

“Go and vote for a better Pakistan. Vote for Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad!” said actor Humayun Saeed on his X account. In a similar vein, Saba Qamar took to X to state, “Pakistan! Remember to go out and vote tomorrow. Pakistan Zindabad.” Singer Asim Azhar took to X to share, “Faisla jo bhi ho, apni zimidari puri karni hai. Baaki Allah badshah (Whatever the outcome, we must fulfil our duty. The rest is up to God).”

Mahira Khan also took to the site formerly known as Twitter to pen, “No matter what you feel or who you want to vote for…It’s important that we exercise our fundamental right to vote. See you all at the polls. InshAllah. Praying for peace and safety for all. Ameen.” Musician Salman Ahmed shared, “No need to fight, just vote and change your destiny, forever!” Sarwat Gilani shared a picture on Instagram with the caption, “See you at the polling station. Use your right to vote.”

Cricketing legend Wasim Akram took to the microblogging site to share, “February 8 is an important day for the people of Pakistan. Somewhere inside us, we all want to change our fate, our system and our way of life and when we vote we use that power to choose the best. It’s our right, so go out and use that power of vote. Pakistan Zindabad.” Shaheen Afridi took to his X account to say, “Voting is not only our right, it is our power! Go and vote tomorrow for a better Pakistan, InshAllah. Pakistan Zindabad.”

Duty fulfilled

Actor Osman Khalid Butt took to X to share an image of him having voted. “What a beautiful day to go out and vote,” he said, flaunting the mark on his thumb that denoted that the actor cast his vote.

After casting his vote, the actor also helped others by sharing a vital message on X. “Mobile phones and digital watches are not allowed inside the polling station. If you didn’t print your information (from messaging 8300), just memorise your block code and serial number or write it down before entering. It’ll help make the process easier,” he shared. Additonally, Actor Adnan Malik took to his IG Story to share that he voted as well. However, he also had some critiques about the entire process.

Taking to X, he wrote, “I feel as if the voting process in this country needs to be revamped. It’s deliberately confusing, easy to manipulate, archaic and ultimately disheartening.” He added, “The service design approach isn’t to make the experience smooth for the end user (voter) but seems to be kept deliberately chaotic so the system can be easily manipulated. Considering that my taxes fund the elections, I want a more reliable way to vote. Electoral reforms needed!”

Taking to his Instagram Stories, Adnan also said, “I’ve just voted and returned. There wasn’t a lot of rush, which isn’t great. An important thing is that the block code you get from 8300 will tell you about your polling booth. They should have signs. Like you have an I.D card number, you’ll have a similar number.”

Cautioning people to be careful with their vote, he continued, “My reflection is that we’re living in 2024 utilising such an archaic way of voting. There are so many people, so much paper, so many stamps, so much bureaucracy.” He added, “The polling agents said that they hadn’t slept in two days. The people who were manning the desks. And it’s so old school, like a government bureaucracy office. They have these big papers which they tear with rules, and have a tiny stamp. It just feels really dated.”

He furthered on, “For me, this is not consumer-friendly from an election point-of-view. Elections, if they were held in a fair and free way, should be easy. People should be able to vote without making it so bureaucratic, so difficult, so many points where things can go wrong.”

Actor Danish Taimoor took to his Instagram to share a picture of the Pakistani flag. “Pakistan Zindabad!” he wrote in the accompanying caption. While his wife and acclaimed star Ayeza Khan shared a similar post earlier, the star also took to her Instagram to share that she has cast her vote. Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi also shared that he cast his vote, posting an IG story confirming the same.

Fatima Effendi Kanwar took to her Instagram to state that she’s done her part. Sharing an image of her having voted, she stated, “Done with our part. Head out and do yours.” Atiqa Odho took to her Instagram to not only share a picture of her inked thumb but also an image of her having “voted as a family.” Sana Fakhar shared that she had voted and questioned her audience about their choice of political party.

On the way

Such is the electoral fever that some celebrities are making their way to Pakistan just to cast their vote. Singer Bilal Khan ‘travelled 10,000 km from Canada back to Pakistan” to be able to participate in the voting process. The musician shared a video on Instagram, showcasing his travels and, in turn, his dedication to the electoral process. “Let’s all vote tomorrow,” he said, encouraging his fans and followers.

Singer Mustafa Zahid also seemed to be travelling to vote. The artist took to X to not only document his travels but also to share a surprise. “Look who I bumped into at the Dubai airport. Guess who are we voting for tomorrow and you can win yourself a ‘bat’!” he said, sharing an image of famed and beloved cricketer Babar Azam alongside.

Unsure

Fatima Bhutto took to X to candidly share, “I don’t know what to say about elections tomorrow except that if you don’t use your vote, even to stamp a zigzag or smiley face on the ballot, someone else will the way rigging works in Pakistan. I don’t believe a single one of the parties and can’t say that I find any of the candidates sincere.”

She added, “Looking at their election promises and manifestos makes me want to laugh/cry because none of them have ever done any of what they promise nor ever held themselves accountable to the people. My only hope is that it will be a peaceful day and all voters will be safe.”

A palpable excitement can be felt in the air this election season. As more and more people step out to vote, the nation waits with bated breath, hoping with everything they’ve got that this election cycle spells prosperity for Pakistan.

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