Celebrities rally in support of Mehwish Hayat receiving Tamgha-e-Imtiaz

Support poured when news outlets questioned her merits for qualifying for this honour


KARACHI: Pakistani film star Mehwish Hayat shared some really good news about her professional accolade but some elements of Pakistani society chose to condemn her for it.

The award-winning actress announced on her social media that she will be receiving Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the fourth-highest decoration awarded to a civilian in Pakistan. Hayat will be bestowed the honour on Pakistan Resolution Day, which falls on March 23, by President Arif Alvi. The Actor-in-Law star has been chosen to receive this medal of honour for her contributions to Pakistani cinema.

As great as the news sounded to her fans, mentors and colleagues, there were people who did not take the news too well, discounting her credibility and integrity on social media, something which the actor herself addressed in a tweet.

Hayat called out an online Urdu news outlet siasat.pk that ran a story, alleging she is in a relationship with a Karachi-based politician, which is being given this prestigious civilian accolade.

“Is this how you celebrate your artist’s success by vilifying their character?” the Na Maloom Afraad implored.

In its reply, the news outlet stated it only reposted the said report that was published in another Urdu news outlet, Express News, and that if she has a reservation, she should take it up with them.

The misogyny that unraveled in the aftermath of Hayat’s recent accomplishment, however, is nothing new for most female members of the film community in Pakistan.

Superstar Mahira Khan expressed solidarity with Hayat and called out siasat.pk, criticising it for publishing click-bait content.

Other actresses also spoke up for Hayat and condemned the naysayers.

In her statement of solidarity, Ushna Shah congratulated the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz honouree, saying that the decoration is not only well-deserved for her success in the film industry but also a success for “bruising hundreds of fragile male egos!”

Male celebrities also spoke up in support of the Load Wedding actress.

“Congratulations, Mehwish – your work speaks for itself. That someone would defame your character for the sake of retweets and gossip is absolutely disgusting,” tweeted Osman Khalid Butt.

“Congratulations Mehwish Hayat on your Tamgha-i-Imtiaz. We are all proud of your immense hard work that has led to this achievement,” said Humayun Saeed.

Famed Faysal Quraishi also expressed support and called out “substandard journalism” that came out of the speculations on the jury.

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