Mehwish Hayat had been in the news for the past few months following a public outcry on receiving her Tamgha-e-Imtiaz. She’s making headlines again and for all the right reasons, this time.
Mehwish is a big name in Lollywood, churning out hits after hits. The actress has been lauded for drama and film performances alike and has always been very comfortable in her work. Since receiving her tamgha, we’ve noticed a bit of a change in her. While she continues to be her enigmatic screen-self, she’s become more politically and socially aware and has become more active in using her platform to put a positive image of Pakistan into the world.
Mehwish Hayat has always been an advocate of women empowerment and human rights. She has often used her twitter as a platform to talk about what’s important and after her TI, Mehwish has brought the same energy into the world.
In the past month alone, Mehwish has single-handedly improved funding for the shocking state of affairs of hockey in Pakistan. She visited Abdul Sattar Eidhi stadium and upon noticing the subpar facilities, started raising awareness for the matter. Hayat’s efforts paid off when for the first time in years, Geo TV agreed to broadcast the semis and finals of the national hockey championships. Furthermore, the Sindh government granted a whooping 10 crore to PHF after she spoke up about the matter.
— GNN (@gnnhdofficial) August 2, 2019
Clearing Up Pakistan’s Image:
Now, Mehwish Hayat has a new project where she’s trying to disprove the villainous image of Pakistan portrayed by cinema all over the world.
Mehwish first spoke about it in Oslo where she received a Pride of Performance award from the Prime Minister of Norway. Mehwish called out Hollywood films and shows such as Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and The Brink for the vilification and negative image of our country in the west. She also urged Bollywood to decide what is more important to them, nationalistic fervor or a peaceful future.
I was honoured to address distinguished guests in Oslo & talk abt film & peace.Also spoke abt how films frm Hollywood & our neighbours hv vilified Pakistan to a point that even I don't recognise the country that they show.Y is nobdy showing the sacrifices we hv made war on terror pic.twitter.com/hA6V1Q5m0q
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) August 11, 2019
Another issue came up when a Pakistani girl questioned Priyanka Chopra on her warmongering tweet during the previous Indo-Pak escalation. The girl was interrupted, her mike snatched and a very condescending reply from Priyanka infuriated Pakistanis all over the world.
Following the interview, Mehwish wrote an opinion piece for CNN where she called out the UN ambassador on her hypocritical remarks. She also wrote about the villainous portrayal of Pakistan in Bollywood fueling Islamophobia around the globe.
I was honoured to be asked to do an opinion piece for CNN. Great opportunity to raise issues close to my heart and also give my take on the @priyankachopra issue and the role we as celebrities have to play.https://t.co/szOTEG34we
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) August 16, 2019
Taking this initiative forward, Mehwish sat down for an interview with Sky News where she further discussed the matter. “Always stereotyping Pakistanis as backward terrorists and having subjugated women or always being the villain, has actually affected us greatly and built this image of Pakistanis”, Mehwish said. She then talked about addressing this behavior by asking for “if not a positive portrayal, at least a fair portrayal”.
Hayat also touched upon the issue in an interview with BBC world where she spoke about building bridges and working together for peace. She highlighted the factor that Pakistan has always screened Bollywood films whereas Indian films never fail to vilify us. Mehwish spoke for the people of Kashmir as well, by saying they have a right to choose what is best for themselves and that she hopes for a peaceful solution of the current matter.
Currently, Mehwish is in the UK to announce that she has become a global ambassador for the charity ‘Penny Appeal’ to help raise funds for building schools in Sukkur. She aims to help provide basic education for the young girls of the region and to give them the choice of how to live their lives.
In a time when our country faces criticism from all over the world, Mehwish’s efforts to bring a peaceful image of Pakistan forward, are truly commendable. We’re so proud and inspired by her intellect, grace and drive to show the world how peace loving Pakistanis can actually be and there’s no better representative for us than Mehwish Hayat.