As the people of Pakistan await with bated breath the results of the general elections, many celebrities took to social media to thank the people for coming out in large numbers to vote and tried to make sense of the situation unfolding following unusual delays, leading to allegations of vote rigging.
Voting for 265 seats in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, took place on Thursday, which was marred by acts of sporadic violence and a countrywide mobile phone shutdown.
There were dozens of parties in the fray but the main contest was among jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), whose candidates are running as independents, former three-time premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Singer-songwriter and actor Farhan Saeed took to X to post a photo of his inked thumb and said, “this mandate said a lot of things”. “Pehle farz tha is baar qarz tha (Earlier, it was a duty, this time it was a debt). Well done Pakistan for coming out and vote for your right ! This mandate said a lot of things, indeed the best way to speak!” the 39-year-old wrote on X.
Musician Shehzad Roy shared his selfie on X, showing the indelible mark on his thumb and wrote, “Dara kar nahi, hara kar jeeto (Win by defeating, not through fear).”
Singer Asim Azhar, who rose to fame for posting cover versions of various Western songs on YouTube, posted several tweets on X calling it “what a story” and “what a fight”. He requested the authorities to “respect the vote”.
“Did everything, created all the possible obstacles, network & internet still not on in so many areas & so much more, but still… God is Great. What a story, what a fight. Ya Allah khair,” the 27-year-old said. “Respect the vote. Respect the public statement. Let truth prevail. InshaAllah,” he wrote in another post.
Actor Osman Khalid Butt posted a cryptic tweet as he wrote, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Actress and former video jockey Sonya Hussyn posted her photo on Instagram and also uploaded a video showing her family going to the polling station to vote.
“Kiyun k, khuda ny bhi us qoam ki haalat nahi badli, na ho jisko yaqeen aap apni halat k badalny ka! (Because even God did not change the condition of that nation, those who don’t believe in changing their situation),” she wrote as the caption.
Actor Fahad Sheikh took to his Instagram Story to joke about how the 2024 election result probably would not come out the same year. However, he added, “People of Pakistan won today.”
Actress Maya Ali also took to her Instagram Stories to write, “People have proven and shown a great sense of responsibility to go out and cast their vote and to choose their leader. Now I pray and hope this night passes and the morning brings us hope, happiness and a great change to our country which we all need badly.”
She added, “It’s not about implementation, it’s not about people, it’s not about punishment. It’s all about and only about the system.”
Writer and columnist Fatima Bhutto, niece of slain former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, wrote on X, “There is a genocide taking place in the world we live in and I find it very hard to express interest in which party made what deal so whose feckless ‘leader’ can take the top job.
“This is a miserable masquerade and the people deserve much better than all these men combined. I’ve seen a lot of strange elections, I can’t say I’ve seen many hopeful ones.”
“Let’s see what shape the government takes tomorrow but forgive me for reserving any enthusiasm till everything is done and dusted,” she added.