No one really took him seriously while he was contesting for the provincial assembly seat from PTI...and then he won
No one really took him seriously while he was contesting for the provincial assembly seat from PTI...and then he won

It's kind of surreal that a man once described as being able to "pull off the uninhibited, aggressive sexuality reminscent of a wild caveman" in a mainstream publication will now be sitting in Parliament but hey, that's Naya Pakistan for you; anything is possible!

I'm trying really hard not to come off as reductionist here but facts are facts; Abbas Jafri made it big as a model over a decade ago with an unconventional look, started a whole facial hair revolution way before Ranveer Singh's Ram-Leela 'stache and got many Pakistani men back in the gym inspired by his washboard abs. He didn't just win Best Male Model at the Lux Style Awards twice for nothing!

He was definitely a leader on the ramp
He was definitely a leader on the ramp

But that was years ago; now, he's a man focused on social justice and giving back to the fraternity that made him, a PTI candidate who won the PS-126 constituency (with 30,687 votes) despite all odds, despite the fact that the constituency was a MQM stronghold. If we weren't paying attention before, we are now.

When I ask him why he stopped modelling, he shares he never stopped but simply "just took a break from it".

"I've always been interested in politics, I've even studied political science! I wanted to do work, good work for my people and as time went by, I realised that to achieve most of my goals, I needed some backing and now I finally have it, " he explains.

He has high hopes for the future of the country.

"Naya Pakistan, for me, is a better place to live. A country where you would want to invest, make your future generations study here. A country with a sense of security and freedom, where there is a check and count on everyone and the citizens feel that there is transparency in all actions. Naya Pakistan is a visionary Pakistan, a Pakistan that will live up to its true potential."

Abbas pictured here with PTI chairman, Imran Khan
Abbas pictured here with PTI chairman, Imran Khan

So what role will the first-time Parliamentarian, ex-Culture Secretary play in making his definition of Naya Pakistan a reality?

"I want to start with the basics, the essentials. I will strive to provide clean water, free quality education, better governance and security, proper garbage disposal. This is top priority. Once this is achieved then I will move on to the second step."

He's got more in common with IK than you think: he was also a professional cricket player (U-19)
He's got more in common with IK than you think: he was also a professional cricket player (U-19)

"I want to give back to my industry, it's given me a lot of love and respect and I want to promote the fashion/entertainment industry internationally. We need to represent Pakistan as one multifaceted nation globally and show the world our hidden talents. A cause close to my heart will be helping promote the growth of fashion from the rural areas by giving them business for their locally made traditional goods."

How noble of him to want to do this for the same industry that went off to the Hum Awards in Canada instead of voting on Election Day but that's a discussion for another day.

Even when the election results were announced, the ECP website showed briefly that he had lost the seat and it had been bagged by an independent candidate Kishwar Zehra instead, who supposedly received 31,000 votes. However, the error was rectified in a couple of hours. Turns out that Zehra's vote count was actually 310 (ouch) and Jafri was officially declared the winner.

He remains unfazed by it though, a part of him knew he could potentially win this.

"I worked for 2 months straight so I had an idea regarding how the turnout would be but the anxiety is always there. You're never sure until it's actually confirmed. The competition was real tough so this win was really looked forward to," he reveals.

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