‘Wearing the sash for Pakistan is an honour’

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Sehr Mahmood lives the dream as Miss Pakistan

22-year old Sehr Mahmood is breaking new ground. Crowned Miss Pakistan World earlier this year, Sehr is part of a new revolution sweeping the Pakistan community. Traditionally distant from beauty pageants across the world, Pakistan is slowly becoming a known entrant in pageants across the world and has four international titles to its credit. Not afraid to be pictured in a bikini, Sehr is the epitome of modern Pakistani women across the world.

Speaking to The Asian Today, Sehr reveals why representing Pakistan is an ‘honour’ and how conservative Muslim attitudes to Pakistani beauty pageants won’t deter her from representing the country as modern and progressive.

 

What made you want to enter Miss Pakistan World?

Well, I took part in Miss Pakistan World 2006, where Pakistani girls were chosen from USA, Canada and UK, and I won the title of Miss Pakistan World 2006 in April 2006, in Toronto, Canada. As a winner I am supposed to go to an international pageant and that’s why I am here at the Miss Earth 2006 pageant. The package for the winner included an international pageant as well as it’s a part of the responsibility and duty of the winner to represent Pakistan on an international level.

 

Was your family supportive of your decision?

My parents are liberal Muslims, and we do not follow the old fundamentalist religious views instead we walk with civilization, religion and modern lifestyles together. My family hails from Karachi, Pakistan which is my birth place. I was brought up there, and went to school there, so my upbringing was in Pakistan. I used to go swimming when I was very young and I used to wear a bikini, so my parents don’t view it as anything wrong.

 

How does it feel to have been crowned Miss Pakistan World?

It feels great to represent Pakistan at the Miss Earth pageant. This is my first international pageant, and I am honored to be carrying this title of Miss Pakistan Earth 2006. My goal here is to educate people and other delegates about my country Pakistan, and to let them know that Pakistan is becoming a very modern country and to remove any misconceptions

 

Tell us a bit about your background. I believe you are a British citizen

Yes I did part of my schooling in the UK. I am a British national and am now studying my MBA in Canada. My family still lives in the UK and I visit UK every year.

 

Why do you think some in Pakistan do not support Miss Pakistan World?

People who cause disturbance on clothes or choice of clothes are a handful, and what can I say, there are people like that everywhere, and unfortunately that’s their choice in life. Well, they will have to get used to this, and hopefully those types of people will dwindle down. I think Pakistan is coming of age and things are changing rapidly, since we have now got the freedom after 20 years to do whatsoever we want. This will help the people of Pakistan discover themselves as well as relax a bit on the rules that were once put in place by fundamentalists. And things like that will never discourage me at all; instead it will make me stronger.

 

Are you hopeful of changing attitudes against Miss Pakistan World?

Yes, that is why I am here, to change so that the future of Miss Pakistan is a bright one. I was in Manila (Miss Earth pageant) on the one and only mission to educate the girls who are coming from different countries in the world about Pakistan and the true people of Pakistan. Pakistan is not perceived in the right way in the world and it’s because of these extremists and so called pseudo intellectuals. This is what we want to change. And we are successful year after year. For the Miss Pakistan world company to win 4 international titles is a major thing. We competed with hundreds of countries with a strong background in pageantry and we still won. So that shows that we can do more and better in the future.

 

Can Miss Pakistan World successfully challenge the negative views against it in Pakistan?

Yes, definitely we will change. I guess we have made a change already and things are rapidly changing for Pakistan. Going to international pageants and wearing the sash for Pakistan is a feeling of honour and patriotism for oneself. I am a proud Pakistani, and I will never forget that I am a Miss Pakistan.

 

What are your hopes as Miss Pakistan World?

I hope to leave Miss Pakistan World confident and glorified, and most importantly, proud of me. I have done all this because of the courage and backing of the Miss Pakistan world company. This is an experience I will never forget and I will have stories to tell my grandchildren in the future that their grandma was a Miss Pakistan World.

 

Do you wish to be a role model for Pakistani women?

I do want to be a role model for the many Pakistani girls who only dream of this and unfortunately because of their surroundings cannot be a part of this. They may be the most beautiful women in the world, and yet they are the most hidden. I want them to come out of their four walls, and discover a different life representing their country on international levels and hopefully winning these titles.

 

Who are your role models?

My roles model is the late Princess Diana, as she broke the norms of her surroundings and believed in what she wanted to do.

 

What’s next for you?

I want to join the Pakistani drama, film industry and I believe that its time to bring well educated people into this industry and make this the world’s most interesting entertainment industry. It is a dream but let’s see if it happens. Pakistani industry needs the most support from young talented people.

For more information on Miss Pakistan World log onto www.misspakistanworld.com

 

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