OK! Magazine launches in Pakistan

Updated Mar 24, 2014 03:36pm
Ayesha Omar with editor of OK! Magazine, Aamna Haider Isani. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Ayesha Omar with editor of OK! Magazine, Aamna Haider Isani. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Saher H. Paracha, CEO and Publisher of OK! Pakistan.
Saher H. Paracha, CEO and Publisher of OK! Pakistan.
Celebrity photographer, Kohi Marri, photographing Ayesha Omar on the red carpet. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Celebrity photographer, Kohi Marri, photographing Ayesha Omar on the red carpet. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Photographer Tapu Javeri at the OK! Magazine launch. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Photographer Tapu Javeri at the OK! Magazine launch. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
One of Pakistan's leading designers, Maheen Khan, with one of the country's original cabaret dancers from back in the day, Marzi. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
One of Pakistan's leading designers, Maheen Khan, with one of the country's original cabaret dancers from back in the day, Marzi. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Actor Momal Sheikh (daughter of Javed Sheikh), model Meera Ansari (daughter of Bushra Ansari) and choreographer Hasan Rizvi. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
Actor Momal Sheikh (daughter of Javed Sheikh), model Meera Ansari (daughter of Bushra Ansari) and choreographer Hasan Rizvi. —Photo by Madeeha Syed
TV host Anoushey Ashraf.  —Photo by Madeeha Syed
TV host Anoushey Ashraf. —Photo by Madeeha Syed

The creeping Talibanisation of Pakistan is a phrase that has no meaning here. Against all odds, Pakistan's fashion and celebrity industry continues to flourish.

After the launch of the international publication Hello! Magazine several years ago, it is now OK! Magazine's turn to 'expose' itself to Pakistanis. The magazine has been brought to Pakistan by Saher H. Paracha as CEO and publisher through her company Juicy Publications (Private) Limited.

The launch took place at the Mohatta Palace. With a fully-stocked buffet of pastries, wasabi sandwiches, smoked salmon, crostinis and chocolate mousse, the early birds at the event got to sample the "tomato tapanede"... And other fancy-sounding unpronounceable food.

The venue, decked with lamps and chandeliers on tree branches and bouquets of flowers everywhere with silver Cupid figurines was picture perfect for a garden party. With most of the women attendees in heels, that translated to lots of heel-poked-holes in the garden itself.

OK! Magazine currently has over 50 million readers worldwide. Speaking to Dawn.com, on bringing it to Pakistan, Aamna Haider Isani -- also one of Pakistan's top fashion journalists -- said "It's been a labour of love. And it took several months to put it together. People thought, 'what's the big deal? Just put it together!' But, no...every single page had to be sent to London for approval. They were very particular about the tiniest of things which is great."

"Their philosophy is simple: it has to be about celebrities, it has to be positive, the tone has to be upbeat. We intend to redefine celebrities in Pakistan. More than just people who look nice and dress nice. We want to promote 'real' heroes. People who have achieved something in life."

The writer is a culture journalist and member of staff. She tweets at @madeehasyed


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Comments (32) (Closed)


Akram
Mar 22, 2014 07:11pm

This magazine is owned by Richard Desmond. I am all for foreign investment, but we need to examine the background of those who are looking to break into the Pakistani market.

mba
Mar 22, 2014 07:41pm

I am personally not interested in fashion and shows, but these factors are an essential part of modern world. Pakistani society is paranoid about the influence from „western countries“. For any small change we always have same questions: Who is funding this? What they want to take away from us? In my opinion, this paranoia immerges out of an inferiority complex typical of a men-dominated society: The culture of „Western countries“ also mean more equality of genders – so the fears of losing men-domination is real. All these fears are also one of the root causes for the rise of Talibanism in our country. Pakistani men should shutter off these fears and come out of this darkness. We have to open the windows of our closed house and breath the air coming from all directions – from east and also from west. Our house has started to stench and the air we are breathing is deadly. It is "OK" to have new influences.

rizwan malik
Mar 22, 2014 07:45pm

What a shame. The picture reflects neither our religion nor our culture nor our values. Where are we as a country headed to in the name of modernization, liberalization and open mindedness?

Jason Larson
Mar 22, 2014 08:49pm

@Akram: How about you worry about the Taliban cutting the heads off of Pakistanis. I would think that that would be your higher priority.

Raza
Mar 22, 2014 08:49pm

@rizwan malik: I totally agree with you brother Rizwan.

mjk
Mar 22, 2014 08:56pm

While children die of malnutrition, famine ,country constantly being targeted by terrorists - affluent class still has time & money to flaunt it. These fashion statements borders on decadence. Country divided in haves & havnots.

Ali Kaiser
Mar 22, 2014 08:56pm

The biggest wannabes come from Pakistani so-called elite class...in all my travels around the world, I have never seen people so eager to copy and own things to which they have absolutely no cultural ties with; pretending to understand Italian and Spanish food by saying a few words wrong is a masterpiece that occurs only here in Pakiland

SMQ Zaman
Mar 22, 2014 08:57pm

Foreign investment in Pakistan is in dire need and it will create employment and will have a positive impact on Pakistan's economy and we should encourage and support 'good causes' and business and economic development.

We should leave the scrutiny of the eligibility or otherwise about entrepreneurs and corporations to the judgement and approval of the equivalent Trade & Industry Dept. of the Govt. of Pakistan rather than making naive and idiotic remarks about the legality and validity (or Talibanisation Ideology) in respect of such foreign investments!

Good luck and best wishes to 'OK Magazine Pakistan'.

From: an Intl. Development MC and British-Pakistani

sk
Mar 22, 2014 09:04pm

@mba:

Open the windows, doors...yes. But don't let the polluted air in. Use your own cultural morals as a guide to letting the sunlight into places where only dark shadows once sat. If Talibanization is one extreme...don't aspire to the other extreme.

Syed
Mar 22, 2014 09:10pm

Why should we presume that western culture is better than eastern culture. India took a large leap towards this path which has brought financial advantages to its people but has eroded their cultural norm. Media dictates culture, no matter how much they claim that they don't. I hope our media doesn't fall so low like Indian media to the level where vulgarity and immoral people reign in the industry and start representing the good people. I hope media representative of OK magazine in Pakistan always keep Pakistan beautiful culture intact. We don't want to be Taliban and we don't want to be European either!

Shafique Rahib Khan
Mar 22, 2014 09:30pm

@rizwan malik: Brother, the picture belongs to an actress. Please don't worry. No body can harm our culture and values until we willing for it. The problem is; we are ready all the time to accept all the evils from west but we don't want to practice their good principles.

KT Shamim
Mar 22, 2014 09:33pm

The popularity of such magazines proves that the Taliban "creep" into us an enforced Islamization and have failed to change people from inside. Inside, people have the same non-Islamic values. Taliban just want to create and foster hypocrisy that already plagues Pakistan.

M
Mar 22, 2014 10:08pm

I don't understand what is the problem with most of the people who have commented indicating that events such as the above are robbing us of our cultural values and are immortal.

99% of the people in the pictures are not only fully clothed but not even wearing figure-hugging clothes as such.

Except for Anoushey, they might not be in shalwar kameez but are wearing fusion-inspired clothes.

Our culture is our culture, it will always be there and the fashion industry will always promote it. They mostly design Eastern-wear anyway.

At the same time we live in a GLOBAL world, where cultures are coming together and fusing, it's about time we realise and accept that. And stop feeling threatened by it. Evolve with the times. Kharay huay paani say boo aati hai.

Abdul Sattar Qamar
Mar 22, 2014 10:10pm

It is a good addition of an international magazine. but it should not be partial, biased and one sided.I do hope it will highlight the deprivations of smaller nations like Saraiki, Sindhi,Baloch etc

Mwaqar
Mar 22, 2014 10:22pm

@rizwan malik: its better then Taliban,jihad education,madrassa education,wahabi-saudi influence in Pakistan,religious fanaticism in Pakistani society.People in Pakistan who criticize everything,never look into mirror.

SaeedS
Mar 22, 2014 10:40pm

@rizwan malik: Don't like it don't read but don't tell other what to do. There are thousand of religious book published ,religious study impose up to high level of studies. Newspaper and tv is full of religious stuff. Now there are few magazine representing real world and people have problem with this.

Zaiunul Abedin
Mar 23, 2014 12:19am

@sk: Be positive, and you will see good result. There is nothing wrong launching a new magazine in Pakistan. Whenever something good happens in Pakistan, Some people start criticizing. There are so many bad things in our country which need to be fixed on an urgent basis, why don't you guys fix all those, which needs your immediate action, like terrorism, illiteracy, religious discrimination, poverty, water, power, & gas shortages and many more.... come out from your own fear. Nobody can hurt you without your permission. Change yourself and the world will change itself.

Fowez
Mar 23, 2014 01:18am

@rizwan malik

Where are we as a country headed to in the name of modernization, liberalization, and open mindedness?

Simple, Insha-Allaha a nation where a girl who chooses to be educated can without the fear being gunned down or forced to be hidden behind walls or veils. A nation where the extreme right minority no longer commits mass murder under their narrow and intolerant views under the name of Islam. A country where a middle class will flourish instead of an elite few. A people where the elected officials are more concerned about building the nation rather than their wallets.

philosophy101
Mar 23, 2014 02:41am

culture is not a permenant state its propotional to time and time is not a constant.

raza
Mar 23, 2014 05:58am

Cool. Pictures are Amazing. Great to have something positive for a change.

mjk
Mar 23, 2014 06:17am

Allow me to be a little cynic. Our cultural metamorphosis is directly proportional to our economic status. It starts with a switch from regional language (Punjabi, Sindhi etc) to Urdu, more money in the bank, from Urdu, the switch is to English which is the ultimate status symbol.It is this class still struggling for acceptance in foreign culture.

Syed Rizvi
Mar 23, 2014 09:38am

This will attract a handful of elites and repel the poor masses who will be drawn toward the Talibans. Unfortunately.

rizwan malik
Mar 23, 2014 11:30am

@ Fowez:

Islam guarantees women rights and privileges that probably no other religion does. I did not say that what the Talibans claim to be doing in the name of Islam is correct. A woman has the right to acquire education, work and be a productive citizen. My point is that in our quest for modernization let us not be overzealous that we cross the boundaries of our religious and cultural norms. None of those who have voiced an opinion contrary to mine would like the ladies in their families emulating the west.

Mahnoor Shafiq
Mar 23, 2014 02:37pm

Great initiative! We need more Pakistani representation regarding foreign pulications. Do want to make a correction though that HELLO! Pakistan was not launched several years ago. They are going to celebrate their 2-year anniversary in April.

Daanish
Mar 23, 2014 08:01pm

its good to have that but remember to be proud of who we are....... Our values,Our culture and Our religion.

Be a Proud Pakistani destined for Greatness,InshahAllah.

Sarah
Mar 24, 2014 01:43am

@Daanish:

very nice thought on this 23d March.

Fowez
Mar 24, 2014 05:41pm

@rizwan malik: "My point is that in our quest for modernization let us not be overzealous that we cross the boundaries of our religious and cultural norms. None of those who have voiced an opinion contrary to mine would like the ladies in their families emulating the west."

The ladies? What about the men? That's the problem, these ladies have a mind of their own. You nor I have the right to say what they should or should not do.

I follow the same religion as the Taliban, the difference is the culture norms. So we must cross cultural norms, if we as a people want to be part of the modern world.

Saad
Mar 24, 2014 07:39pm

I don't understand what is so non-cultural about a celebrity magazine being launched in Pakistan? Do people saying this even read these magazines? It's through magazines and publications like this that awareness is raised about our culture and art. Why do you think the Pakistani truck art has gained so much prominence lately - nationally and internationally? Because of magazines like this. So please, let's stop confusing culture with religion.

Asad
Mar 25, 2014 06:41am

Before doing criticism on this article and about the way actress n models are looking ....look at your own public, they are doing same thing in normal ruitne nowdays . Take a glimpse in gulberg, lahore, avari plaza, karachi , m m alam road,lahore , saddar and commercial market rawalpindi, jinnah super , islamabad...... Who are they ? Foreigners? No, all of them are normal middle n middle upper class people. And their male family members criticise on fashion during drawing room talk .

Hasan
Mar 25, 2014 11:19am

You consider their dress as our culture?

Turyal Azam Khan
Mar 25, 2014 06:09pm

I don't get some people criticizing the magazine, if you have a problem with it, just don't read it.There are tons of others magazines available. It's not that hard

Turyal Azam Khan
Mar 25, 2014 06:17pm

@Fowez: I completely agree with you on this, when Ali Zafar lands in Bollywood, we support him, but when a woman goes, we criticize her, why, because she's a woman of course.

Similarly when I see a female model's facebook, the comments are filled with stuff like shame on you, is this your religion or culture?, but when it's a male model, no one cares.

Many of you here, might be right that this is not or culture or religion, but it's their life, they are mature enough to make their own choices, If you have a problem with it, avoid it.It goes for both men and women.