Outrage online after PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah Khan’s disparaging remarks about Mahira Khan, Anwar Maqsood

Outrage online after PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah Khan’s disparaging remarks about Mahira Khan, Anwar Maqsood

Mira Sethi, Farhan Saeed and Iffat Omar were among many celebrities who defended Mahira and Maqsood against the PML-N leader's "character assassination".
21 Mar, 2023

People are angry at PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah Khan for disparaging remarks he made against actor Mahira Khan and playwright and satirist Anwar Maqsood after videos of Maqsood’s comments on Maryam Nawaz and Marriyum Aurangzeb went viral online.

During An Evening With Mahira Khan, Hosted By Anwar Maqsood at the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi on Sunday, Mahira spoke about two women fighting, yelling and giving each other poison.

“Two women, Maryam Nawaz and Marriyum Aurangzeb,” began Maqsood as the audience interrupted in laughter and cheers, before saying he was just giving an example. “I am not allowed to talk about politics. The situation is such. It’s going to get better very soon,” he said. “Poisoning etc happens in real life not just in dramas. Both are actors, not character actors,” he said.

Maqsood was trending on Twitter for this statement and there were many people who criticised him for it, believing that his jokes weren’t up to his usual standard.

PML-N leader Hina Parvez Butt stood up for both women and did so in a calm and composed manner.

Disagreeing with what he said is valid and your right. What isn’t your right, however, is resorting to degrading comments and personal insults.

But that’s what Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, son of the late PML-N leader Mushahidullah Khan, did in his tweet.

He went straight to character assassination for both Mahira and Maqsood and made disparaging remarks about their mental health.

Now, obviously, this is not okay. To use such language reflects poorly on him, not the people he was talking about. People started calling out the senator for his remarks, including a host of celebrities.

Farhan Saeed slammed this kind of mentality, saying it “doesn’t let Pakistan grow”.

“Political criticism must not lead to character assassination,” wrote actor Iffat Omar.

Actor Mishi Khan slammed the PML-N leader for being “rude and crude”.

Mira Sethi also called out the tweet, saying it said more about Afnan Ullah’s character than anything else.

Adnan Siddiqui also posted on Twitter calling out “disgraceful behaviour from a public figure”. He did not, however, quote-tweet the senator nor did he mention him by name.

It wasn’t just celebrities defending Mahira and Maqsood. There were a host of ordinary people who found the PML-N leader’s comments as repulsive.

The Aurat March Karachi also called out the sexist language in the tweet and said, “Usage of such ‘low’ level sexist remarks from members of the ‘upper’ house of Parliament is unacceptable!”

People called out the foul language used in the tweet.

We hope the senator deletes his tweet and apologises for his crass words. Disagree with someone all you want, but don’t stoop to making nasty jibes about their characters and personal lives. We should all be better than that.