Weddings, lawsuits and cricket — the most read Dawn Images stories of 2023

Is there anything more representative of Pakistani interests than our top stories this year?
30 Dec, 2023

2023 was a real rollercoaster but two things remained constant — Pakistanis’ interest in other people’s weddings and cricket. From Mahira Khan to Fatima Bhutto, weddings made up 30 per cent of our top stories this year — a feat topped only by cricket which accounted for 35 per cent of our stories.

The one thing that surprised is us no Bollywood stories made it to our top 10 — but hey, in our books that’s a good thing.

1. Pakistan’s sweetheart Mahira Khan ties the knot

Published on October 2

It’s no surprise that our top story of 2023 was Mahira Khan’s wedding — she is Pakistan’s sweetheart, after all. People were fascinated with the entire shindig — but the pièce de résistance was her wedding in Bhurban and her wedding outfit à la Faraz Manan.

You can read the story here.

2. The Pakistan versus India World Cup match has everyone asking what in the world just happened

Published on October 14

Our second most-read story didn’t really surprise us because months later, we’re still wondering what happened in our World Cup match against India. We may be a culture section, but cricket is as much a part of our culture as it is a sport and there’s nothing Pakistanis love to talk about more than cricket — unless you count politics.

The Pakistani side’s collapse in the World Cup was one of the most stunning moments of 2023 — people were literally shook. How could a team that had such amazing players and such great cohesion play so poorly?

You can read the story here.

3. Shaheen Shah Afridi ties the knot with Shahid Afridi’s daughter Ansha in an intimate nikah in Karachi

Published on February 3

Surprise, surprise another wedding made it to our top 10, this time of one of our cricket sweethearts — Shaheen Shah Afridi. Pair him up with a former sweetheart’s daughter and you’ve got a match made in cricket fan — and paparazzi — heaven.

Shaheen asked for privacy and well-wishes for his wedding and while people sent their prayers and wishes, privacy wasn’t really granted to the happy couple. Which leads back to our point about Pakistanis and their insane fascination with other people’s weddings.

You can read the story here.

4. Kubra Khan threatens to sue YouTuber Adil Raja for defamation

Published on January 3

This was truly one of the most random and strange stories of 2023 — a YouTuber and self-described geopolitical analyst known for his political commentary making defamatory insinuations about four female actors while going after top army brass and then backtracking spectacularly after being threatened with a lawsuit.

His allegation that four “top models and actresses” would fraternise with former officials as well as with politicians. He was unable to substantiate his claims with proof other than claiming it was revealed to him by “sources”.

He mentioned the initials of the four women he made claims about — MK, MH, SA and KK or AK. The confusion in the last set of initials was compounded when he claimed to have said AK after Khan’s tweet threatening legal action.

You can read the story here.

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

Published on March 21

Another day, another man making rude remarks about a woman. This time it was PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah Khan who made remarks about Mahira Khan and Anwar Maqsood after videos of Maqsood’s comments on Maryam Nawaz and Marriyum Aurangzeb went viral online.

He straight up character assassinated both and made disparaging remarks about their mental health. Not cool but not surprising when it’s coming from a Pakistani politician.

You can read the story here.

6. Dear PCB, you DO remember Imran Khan was the captain in 1992, right?

Published on August 17

This was a rather silly story, in our opinion. The PCB released a video on August 14 paying tribute to the country’s cricket legends and missed a big one — Imran Khan. Politics aside, Imran is truly one of our greatest cricketers and captained the team to its first World Cup, so his exclusion was both ridiculous and comical. Twitter definitely thought so too.

You can read the story here.

7. ‘Welcome to Phadda Super League’: Multan Sultans won the match but players’ fights won the internet

Published on March 16

As Pakistanis, one thing is for sure — we love drama. And the drama peaked during the Multan Sultans versus Lahore Qalandars match this past PSL.

The match was filled with heated moments but a face-off between the Qalandars’ Shaheen Shah Afridi and the Sultans’ Kieron Pollard had netizens grabbing their popcorn.

You can read the story here.

8. Author Fatima Bhutto ties the knot in Karachi

Published on April 28

One more wedding made it to our top 10 — that of author and activist Fatima Bhutto. Fatima, the daughter of the late Murtaza Bhutto and granddaughter of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, married Graham, on Thursday at their family home of 70 Clifton and people loved the simplicity of their celebrations.

We loved that she went to the ACF animal shelter soon after to celebrate with some cute animals.

You can read the story here.

9. ‘Welcome back to purana Pakistan’: The power may be out but Pakistani Twitter’s humour is not

Published on Jan 23

Is it really Pakistan without power outages and snappy Twitter takes? We’re taking you back to before Twitter was X and to some of the snappiest takes of all time.

You can read the story here.

10. A father’s acceptance of his intersex son in Sar-e-Rah has Twitter tear-eyed

Published on March 1

This was a more touching story and we’re so glad it made it to the top 10. People reacted to a sweet scene in drama Sar-e-Rah in which a father and and his intersex son spoke about acceptance.

The scene in question featured Nabeel Zafar playing the father who has a monologue in his head with God after a conversation with his son, praying he can be there every step of the way to protect him from this cruel world and support him in every way possible.

You can read the story here.

Happy New Year, everyone and happy reading!