Newsweek Pakistan: Shaking Pakistan with lipstick?

Published: March 25, 2011

Luscious Cosmetics' contribution to Pakistani womanhood is unparalleled.

Newsweek Pakistan has outdone itself with its list of the 100 Women who shake Pakistan. I must concede, never has such an extraordinary list been created.

Some of the women listed here have “shaken” Pakistan on such a grand scale that it’s a wonder they haven’t had a street named after them yet.

The most commendable of the lot, also well known to all Pakistanis as our very own Estee Lauder is Mehrbano Sethi, who introduced Luscious Cosmetics in a country where makeup was largely unavailable. Let’s give her a round of applause, since her contribution to Pakistani womanhood is unparalleled.

Incredibly, Sethi has shaken Pakistan with lipstick unlike the un-made up Hina Jillani who was left out of the list because her life-long, country wide, feminist struggle pales in comparison to how empowered women feel after applying layers of foundation – nothing feels better than sticky lip gloss which gets stuck in your hair and nothing is more empowering than nail polish. Pretty hands stand above and beyond women’s shelters and justice.

Only a “jealous” non-elite fool would deny that.

Women from all over the country travel to major cities where it is available in droves, cleaning up shops as they go along. News of Luscious has spread so far and wide that products are being memorised in order to advertise to the illiterate.

Women in Thar dance to the tunes; activists have volunteered hours of their lives to translate them into all our national languages. The ad jingles are so powerful that Abida Parveen herself wouldn’t be able to do them justice.

Near Eid, our shopkeepers can hardly keep up with the large demand. Medora, Swiss Miss and all the other local beauty brands are seriously considering shutting down.

“Even though we’re poor, people are more than willing to spend money on a product that puts Estee Lauder to shame,” said an employee with tears in her eyes.

“It’s true,” said a woman in a store in Peshawar who had come all the way from Waziristan looking for things she could use to empower the oppressed women of her area. “We are willing to spend more. Medora nail polish chips in two days whereas Luscious lasts me 2.5 days.”

In front of my very eyes, she bought everything in the store. “This is the best present I could give to the women living under the Taliban. I don’t care about these rights groups or shelters. Women aren’t interested in this funny concept of freedom or equality! They want to look pretty. Don’t you know that’s the only way to feel good?”

I hung my head in shame and instantly decided to get a manicure. It didn’t make me feel better, so I wondered if I should get my sex changed.

In all seriousness, although what Sethi and the other women who shouldn’t be on this list have achieved is commendable and should be lauded, they are not a patch on the worthier ones who were left out.

I admire them for their resolve, but they are not known to most Pakistanis. The only ones who do know them well are those who are catering to their own elite crowd through a publication. It’s something we’ve all witnessed before: sycophantic elite self-love, giving each other way more importance than necessary and making an erroneous assumption that they can speak for Pakistan without knowing the ground realities.

How many people even know who Selina Rashid is, for example? I do, but only because she happens to be related to me and knows the same tiny circle.

As much as I admire her for creating a company that is definitely praiseworthy, I do not think she has “shaken” Pakistan. Her market is a tiny elite circle or those who can afford her services. While I sincerely hope more women follow in her footsteps instead of sitting home, I object to the fact that too many worthier women who actually represent Pakistan were left out.

I often wonder what planet our elite live on in general, but that’s another story.

Nabiha Meher

Nabiha Meher

A teacher at Aitchison, LGS, NCA and LUMS.A graduate from the United World College of the Atlantic,with an undergraduate degree in women's studies from York University and a masters degree in creative and critical writing from University of Sussex.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • TightDhoti

    These sorts of lists are a waste of time to begin with. Regardless of who is on it. At the end of the day such lists devalue the efforts of each and every person who struggles to do right by their family, community and wider social group. Just because they are not considered worthy of media attention doesnt mean that there efforts are any less valuable. Recommend

  • Tan Adam

    Too cynical! is that ur ONLY objection to the Newsweek article? There were a hundred names on it, n you pick just that ONE!
    I have a suggestion…compile ur own list and use (not abuse) this space to give them the recognition u think they deserve. I don’t know who either of these women are, but going by what uve written here, this Mehrbano Sethi has achieved something in her own right and deserves a little more respect. Just because she doesn’t fall into ur ‘chosen’ category of progressive women, doesnt mean u become so dismissive (almost disrespectful) in ur opinion of her accomplishments! Recommend

  • Mariam Khan

    really enjoyed ur writng…..n simply loved the last line….exactly on which planet our elite live.Recommend

  • femfem

    Awww Tan Adam are you crying? Awww here’s a tissue. You reacted without even understanding what the writer’s saying. I can’t see any disrespect- it’s called humour. Her question is exactly that (I think): what kind of people value cosmetics over human rights? The elite do, the poor don’t. Recommend

  • / free

    i like it Newsweek Pakistan: Shaking Pakistan with lipstick? – The Express Tribune Blog since im your rss readerRecommend

  • Tru Rethsbitter

    we all know who compiled that list. coughshehrbano taseercough. she needs to learn there’s a world beyond her elite friends who seldom shake but more like rake pakistan. hina jilani should’ve been in the top most of the list. sethi’s contribution to pakistan .1% compared to other women. she’s only helped us paint our faces. jilani and jahangir on the other hand give us a voice.

    thanks for this piece, nabiha. i want more feminists in pakistan!Recommend

  • Tru Rethsbitter

    i think beena sarwar, mehreen kasana, kulsoom lakhani, rabail memon, azmat zahra and scarcely a few others are upcoming feminists in pakistan. they make me happy :-)

    keep it up, ladies!Recommend

  • Rabayl Manzoor Memon

    Tru Rethsbitter:

    Ah, what a sweet surprise to read your comment! Thanks :)Recommend

  • Faria Syed

    Some damn cool women in Pakistan who were not on the list:

    Hinna Rabbani Khar
    Sharmilla Farooqi
    Anita Ghulam Ali
    Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
    Atiqa Odho
    Sana Safinaz
    Fatima Bhutto
    Bina Shah
    Zeb and Haniya
    Fozia Saeed
    Razia Bhatti
    Samar Minallah
    Kamila Shamsie
    Bina Sarwar
    Fehmida Riaz
    Zubeida Tariq
    Sabeen Mahmud
    Musharraf Hai
    Mussarat Misabah
    Hasina Baloch
    Poppy Agha
    Justice Nasira Iqbal


  • Tanzeel

    and then the red mosque lady Umme Hassan, Zubaida Tariq and Shahista Wahidi, I wonder in what way they have shaken the nation. Interestingly they have considered Sania “Bhabhi” as Pakistani woman.Recommend

  • iffy

    what about juggan kazim? how has she shaken pakistan? Recommend

  • JSF

    Flo Kennedy told US women in the 1970″s: create your own organizations, give out awards, hold ceremonies, put out press releases about these awards. The winning women can put the awards on their resumes. You will get credit for starting and managing the organizations who give out the awards. This is what men do.” Recommend

  • Buzzy

    Its funny you claim to move in the same circles as the aboved mentioned ladies (which is how you know who they are) yet find it pertinent to bash them for being elitists.. Bit contradictory no? Recommend

  • Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    @Faria Syed:
    Excellent list. Although I don’t see any worthy role of Fatima Bhutto (she still hasn’t contributed much to Pakistan and continue to whine), but names like Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy, Zubaida Tariq and many others have done wonders. They should be included in the middle, if not the top, of the list at least.Recommend

  • Mehrbano Sethi

    Hi. I just read this really funny (and poorly written) post you’ve written, and saw how you very graciously decided to single me out from the other 99 names on the list. You have every right to your opinion about the Newsweek list, but this attack on me specifically shows your narrow-mindedness about women in general.
    I would like to invite you to a public debate about “ground realities”, the education emergency we are facing in Pakistan, and the imminent collapse of our ailing economy. I have a background in International Relations and Conflict Resolution from Boston University, and I run a very successful FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) company in Pakistan which just happens to fall into the category of beauty/personal care. Lipstick on its own might not be able to shake Pakistan, but the 790 women I employ all over the country, along with a multitude of charitable organizations for women that I support by the very funds generated by my “lipstick” are a testament to how entrepreneurs in our country can contribute to our economy and our society in a multitude of ways. I did not ask or aspire to be on the Newsweek list, but I strongly object to your petty, condescending tone in this post. You have no right to call yourself a feminist if you target other women trying to survive in a hostile business economy. I have worked hard for each of my accomplishments and would love to sit down with you and tell you more about feminism and being supportive to other professional women in Pakistan.
    Lastly, you’re just a bit of a hater, aren’t you ;)Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    Thank you ladies.

    Buzzy, they changed the words. I wrote “know” because although I know them, I do not move within that circle. I know who some of these people are- most know my family well & I’ve met most of them. I avoid that life. The full text is here:

    Elitism as a state of mind is what is being referred to here. One can be the richest person & yet have complete knowledge of ground realities. Knowing/relationships/income has nothing to do with how much common sense one has. I cannot, even though I’d like to, extract mutual DNA for many people I know. Just because I know them, doesn’t mean it’s a contradiction for me to say something against their grain.

    And thank you for using the word bashing. I truly thank you because here it is folks! I haven’t “bashed”. I’ve said that what these women are doing is amazing but since I haven’t harped on about blind love for them, that somehow, by some logic, equates to bashing. My job is done! Recommend

  • PlusOnes

    Buzzy, Nabiha doesn’t move in these circles by choice. She was born in them. And while it is a familial responsibility to often bear these obnoxious circles, she is decidedly more aware and enlightened then the rest of them put together.

    I would also like to state the names of these fabulous women who weren’t ‘qualified’ enough to make it to the Newsweek Pakistan list:

    Uzma Khan (Director Biodiversity, WWF – Pakistan)
    Dr Arifa Syeda

    I’m sure others can come up with many more names that I am unable to recall right now.Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    Mehrbano, this is satire. This isn’t about you. This is about the list & all the content is related to the list. If you choose to take offense, there’s nothing I can do about it. As a writer, make-up just made the best content to use. In fact, I have used the words commendable & said that I admire you. If you choose to ignore the serious part about you which is ALL positive, then that’s your choice. It’s all there, clearly there. ;)

    I don’t believe any debate is possible since this article is being read for offense.

    And thank you for saying it’s poorly written. That’s a very big compliment for me.

    And if I’m an anti-feminist for this, then perhaps the definition of feminism has changed. Can someone give me the new one please? I have a degree in this, but I got in 2005. Maybe world feminism has been given an overhaul? Oh dear… What now? Recommend

  • Moeen K

    Wow! Very well retorted Ms.Sethi. You have just garnered a die-hard fan!
    Singling one person out of a list that included the founder of Al-Huda and the Lal Masjid head honcho is totally distasteful. This smells like a personal attack.
    Do you know the author? I bet you don’t.The Tribune normally stays above Jang Group style guerilla journalism, but there’s a first time for everything! Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    If being a hater means having the audacity to critique an elitist list & if it means having a sense of humour, then by all means call me a hater till the day I die. Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    Mehrbano, I’ve decided I actually would love to interview you. I’d like to know more about the business and how it’s helping/empowering women. However, I’d like to do it with a digital tape recorder on record so that there are no misunderstandings about misreporting etc. Should be interesting. I’m up for it if you are. Recommend

  • UZi

    “the education emergency we are facing in Pakistan, and the imminent collapse of our ailing economy”

    Oooh lookie I use recently-coined buzzwords! I iz smarts! I can haz cookie? :-DRecommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    Moderator what happened to my earlier comments? I don’t understand why you haven’t approved them. Can someone inform me what they problem is? Recommend

  • Amber

    I do not understand the hatred for elite by the author…as a journalist, are you not expected to be free of personal bias when writing an objective article…is it perhaps a chip on the shoulder? And if so, why attack Mehrbano Sethi, who obviously contributes not only to the economy, but also to making women happy. The latter cannot be underestimated – Nabiha, you yourself refer to ” Taliban rule” in some parts of the country, and the negative connotations thereof. Honestly, your article is retarded and misplaced, and belittles the spirit of entrepreneurship and women empowerment that you should be championing instead!! Long live Mehrbano Sethi and Luscious cosmetics, and may the country breed many more shakers such as her. As for you Nabiha – you obviously envy/hate anyone who is well to do or successful, or as you disparagingly keep muttering “elite”….please go fix your head and insecurities before you go around writing malicious articles and spewing unnecessary hatred…. Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    @Moeen K: I was waiting for this one too. Those women, whether we like to believe it or not, have indeed shaken Pakistan. They have influenced and impacted millions & they are household names. Whether one likes them or their ideology, it’s simply a truth.

    I have blatantly written I admire her when I give my opinion, after the satire. The sarcasm has to do with the list & nothing else. If you choose to read it in any other form, please do so, but only the text can speak for itself.

    Like I said, more than happy to do an interview. Recommend

  • unzila chowdry

    shehrbano is a reporter right? why would she write the list? shes not the editor as far as i know… there was some major problems in the list, but overall it was well rounded i think… Recommend

  • Ghazala Raojee

    go meherbano!!!! amazinggggggg reply to a stupid article. we are on team mehru, can i cal u that?!?!Recommend

  • Amir Rashid

    Thar she blows…………………………Recommend

  • Ghazala Raojee

    also I really hate ppl who bash elitism. get over it. you guys only perpetuate class inequalities and tension… these ppl are born into well to do families, that is not their fault. but they dont sit on their backside like many other MIDDLE CLASS women do, they are taking risks, working hard and doing things
    its not about class… but our lower and middle classes are so frustrated at life these days because everything in pak is such low quality that the elite are a easy target to hate…
    stop sipping that hatorade guys!!!Recommend

  • The middle man

    As someone who knows both these women, can I suggest they both actually do an interview. Both these women are incredibly intelligent. They don’t know this, but they have a lot in common. I’m not saying anyone here is right or wrong. I just think that if they meet and talk, they’ll only then understand each other’s perspectives.

    I need to remain anonymous because I know you both. I’m sorry about that. Just please stop commenting and meet each other. Do the interview. Recommend

  • Hina A

    From another blog which talks about Newsweek’s lisT:

    In essence this list lines up well with imperialist philosophy. Apart from a few good people here and there — Ayesha Jalal, Samina Khan, Asma Jehangir — (Tahera Hasan, a friend, and a lovely person as well,) and the list is replete with examples of globalization, capitalism queens, and imperialism mascots. And the parade of horrors — landed, industrialist politicians and financiers. Most, except a couple, either live abroad, or were educated abroad, or holidayed abroad.

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    @Amber: “As for you Nabiha – you obviously envy/hate anyone who is well to do or successful, or as you disparagingly keep muttering “elite”….please go fix your head and insecurities before you go around writing malicious articles and spewing unnecessary hatred….”

    my reply is on my blog:

    And let me state here, again, like I have so many times in the past, that the elite self-love circle will probably be out for my blood for even daring to say this… I will be accused of being “jealous” & “insecure” (which is basically the following wail: “WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME DAMN IT?! WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME BLINDLY LIKE YOU SHOULD?!”) because, after all, who on earth would voluntarily make the decision to be a low-life teacher? This is the only way they know how to deal with valid & logical criticism which makes me sad, especially as a teacher.Recommend

  • Moeen K

    We’ve got to stop focusing on a LIST, elitist or not or whatever! There is something such as journalistic responsibility. Ms. Sethi is the only mass market entrepreneur in the list. Any concerns on how this effects her company’s image?!? As a garment exporter, I know it’s hard enough to do business being a Pakistani. with all its negative connotations. Thanks Nabiha for being a feminist. It’ll really help us create jobs for people. Who needs business and companies in Pakistan. All I want to know is WHY WAS SHE SINGLED OUT? Apart from Selina Rashid (another dismayed reader of this post, I’m sure) I don’t see ANY OTHER NAMES that you have “satirized”?!? Please explain this to all of us in this forum.Recommend

  • Ghausia

    The list has Shaista Wahidi and the lal masjid lady on it. Pathetic. Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    @Moeen K: I’m sorry but first of all, I don’t have to explain. Nice demand though.

    I didn’t write a long, critical analysis. I didn’t even set out to write a critique of the whole list. It was a short satire with one serious note at the end. The only people making an issue out of this are those offended. There was no singling out of any PERSON. It made for good content and it was something that I could work with. Why can’t that be enough? Because that’s what it was. There is no “agenda” or anything here. It was a creative moment of inspiration that I utilised. If that’s a problem to understand, then I really can’t explain.

    I’m also not a journalist. This isn’t a report. There’s a very big difference: genres vary within journalism too. I made a point: I’m afraid that Hina Jillani and others are making a bigger impact on Pakistan. If you don’t agree, fine, but most people who value human rights agree.

    And will you please read my ACTUAL opinion at the end? I admire them all. If people chose to ONLY read the satire as something serious & conveniently neglect the actual serious part, then I’m afraid there’s a problem with the reader.

    Pray tell me how on earth this will impact any image of any company? For you I am a bad writer. Why on earth would people listen to me? Luscious will definitely go on. It’s a good & popular product. This is a bit too illogical for me to understand…

    I’ve been telling people that I sometimes feel a little anxious taking on Lahori elite but feel no fear of terrorists. They all now understand why. It’s because when the Lahori elite hear something they don’t want to (since the world revolves around the Lahori elite). “We are the best because we say we are the best. Don’t you DARE deny that!” being their rhetoric. The Lahori elite are rather incapable of taking any criticism, valid or not. It’s sad. I’ve given up any hope I had on this country not because of the terrorists but because of the elite.

    Basically you seem to be asking how I even dare think that some people shouldn’t be on that list. I shouldn’t even think it at all because it goes against elite self love. Recommend

  • Hamid Rashid

    Can everyone please stop attacking Nabiha for this marvelous piece of satire?? I am a great believer in satire as it keeps people from taking themselves too seriously. therefore, I would like to add my own little contribution:

    In a place not too far away from my elitist dwelling in the cantonment, is the home of a distant relative who in spite of living in a palace has devoted her intellectual energies to opining against, well, just about anything to do with the elite… I have to say, my relative is not the first such product of this neighbourhood and nor will she be the last especially as most of the residents have a habit of marrying one another. Inevitably, this causes them to all end up with the same gene pool and the myriad attendant ideological persuasions (read contradictions) that come with that predicament. To elicit the point, a small adaptation from the world of film: “Fear and self-loathing in Lahore”. A further enunciation from the Bard of Avon if you will….”Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all”.

    And finally, I leave you with the immortal words of Colonel Potter from MASH: “Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.”Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    This is my last comment for the night but I’m putting this up publicly because our elite is rather predictable. They have reacted just the way I said. They continue to prove me right.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if more demands, threats etc were put up here for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if people start to write vicious comments. I’m used to it. I expect it.

    I do think the Lahori elite need to take a long hard look at themselves. They all have an education. Use it to understand this before making knee jerk comments. If you CHOOSE to be offended, if you choose to believe that everything has to do with jealousy etc then we can’t even have a dialogue. It’s pointless.

    I am not going to apologise for what I wrote. I wrote it for a reason. If you choose not to see that reason, then there’s nothing I can do about that either. Recommend

  • Concerned Elite

    What a ridiculously Freudian discourse you have Nabiha. You use the word elite so many times it makes me think you are such a hater, like Sethi says! Seems to me like you feel left out of the “elite” thereore attack them. If you were from a middle class blue-collar family, I would even consider taking you seriously. The fact that you are attcking the “elite” so vehemently tells me a few things:
    1. You’re trying to be controversial and anti-system. Well, here’s a thought: we have much bigger issues in Pakistan than a Newsweek list. You are no Che Gavara. Please know that.
    2. Please don’t refer to yourself as just a “teacher” and try to hide behind that facade. You have maligned someone who is just like all your students at LUMS. A budding entrepreneur. I shudder to think of you as their mentor in any way.
    3. You have no idea what satire is. All the great Satirists are turning in their graves at just the thought of it.
    Overall, you should focus your energies on constructive writing and let the “elite” blindly love themselves. Why does it bother you so much? Recommend

  • JSF

    To whom much is given, much is expected. This opinion piece is not about hatred, it is disappointment. Recommend

  • Asad

    Ahhh the joy of seeing the english-speaking elites go at each others’ throats !!!!
    Ladies and metro-gents, pls. don’t ruffle your feathers too much in that little cage that Pakistan has become because that only gets more bird poop all over them.
    After 3 mos. spent back in the motherland and seeing how the “elite” have sucked the blood out of it to finance their BMW/Porsche/Land Rover farmhouse lifestyles while the rest have turned into intolerant fanatics I can only hope that getting the latest lawn designs and matching lipsticks keeps you happy and distracted while your IMF loans last.
    BTW Boston University was always the choice of the spoilt brats.Recommend

  • Fizza

    Interesting… One question I’d like to ask though, why isn’t the name of Firdous A. Awan not included if even Kulsoom Nawaz was there on the list?Recommend

  • Tajdar Chaudry

    Love this! Love it! Love the fact that you had so much free time on your hands that you spun together a literary crusade. Love your ignorance more though. It embers hope that our problems can indeed sod it when faced with the predictable self-destructing nature of the social fabric of most in-bred towns. Its okay though, I understand the fact that this is a blog post and not a journalistic piece based on factual evidence. Disappointed in Tribune though. Didn’t realize they’d taken on ranting as an outlet.

    P.S> Yes, the list was a stretch of the imagination in parts. True it may well have been a well-intentioned “marketing strategy”, but when it came to picking the wrong person off that list, you set quite a record.Recommend

  • Saeeda Khan

    Selina Rashid? A Publicist? And you want her on the top 100 women list of Pakistan? You must be KIDDING man! Get a life! Find other ways to vouch for your relatives. Recommend

  • cynimism

    @iffy: youtube/search “pink ludoos”, that should give you a good idea lol!Recommend

  • Alishba Zarmeen

    Well done, Nabiha!
    Getting the word out is so necessary. Newsweek is a product of the elitist culture we’ve produced (remember: Pakistan – the most dangerous nation in the world, issue?)
    I have much to say but I will get back to it at a decent hour.
    Again, kudos!Recommend

  • Idiots

    Amazing reaction. Amazing. Wrong person? Nice. Sounds like a threat. You guys all really live on some other planet. It is true.

    Saeeda, the author has stated the opposite. Samjhna nahin hai, bolna zaroori hai.

    You guys are soooo predictable. Recommend

  • humpty

    I laughed out loud! This is incredible! Bravo Nabiha!

    Seems like the only ppl who don’t like this are exactly those who nabiha predicted when she wrote this. You all have played right into the hands of those who were expecting and waiting for such a reaction.

    I recently heard nabiha speak at a conference where she presented findings from an on going study about elite academic insitutions and intolerance. Her findings were grim and realistic. She does much research on how the elite have also been complicit in creating the culture we live in today. It is something no one wants to hear because we like to believe that poor, jahil people are a problem. The elite live in righteous bubble, protected and blind.

    At the conference, nabiha’s speech was praised by ayesha siddiqa as well as all the other academics there. People clapped for a full minute and some stood up. The fact is that she doesn’t need to be loved by the elite which is why she has the guts to even speak out in the first place. She holds a mirror to them and they don’t like what they have to see, so they lash out at her.

    And after reading all these rather hilarious comments, I now also understand why she has lost hope in this country. Because of the elite. Despite degrees from the world over, they choose to be quite jahil. I mean she’s clearly said she admires these women, yet people are commenting away as if she’s said she hates them. I’m amazed. Recommend

  • Hamid Rashid

    hey – I’m not “offended”, nor did I hoist any ” demands, threats etc” – mine was just a piece of satire. Recommend

  • Meera

    excellent article. keep it up! I want more from this writer please express!

    Hamid, your comment is funny but not harmless for revealing where the writer lives. Recommend

  • Idiots

    i don’t think nabihas going to reply. don’t blame her. she just put this up today. i can’t stop laughing!

  • Nabiha Meher Shaikh

    @Moeen K: If I wasn’t don’t you think LUMS would sue me? And I would never say I’m somewhere I’m not. You need to check your facts. I’m on the website & there on a daily basis. If I was indeed “removed” then I haven’t been informed & neither has the accounts department for they keep paying me.

    Maybe I should now throw a tantrum and demand to Why are you slandering me? why are you lying? why are you spreading lies and rumours?

    However, it is pointless to do so because your lie can be verified to be a lie. Recommend

  • You guys make me sick

    seriously stomach churning sick! you can not handle being told that you’re not the best things! she is right! you are now spreading vicious rumours and lies! she is right about slandar too!Recommend

  • punjabis ruined pakistan

    this is why the whole country hates the punjabis. this is the disgusting way they behave. i like this article. if u cant laugh at urself, then u cant grow up as a person.

    nabeeha you are right about lahori elite. i am standing with u.Recommend

  • sara

    great! i loved every word of if :)
    these women might be intelligent but they do not represent Pakistan…cause most of pakistan doesn’t even know them!!!!Recommend

  • Tan Adam

    thats just sad!
    its disturbing to see that all of us have a taliban, tucked away nicely, inside us that renders us incapable of ( forget tolerating ) even accepting another’s opinion! If Nabiha posts an article on a public forum, its only inevitable that she will receive all sorts of feedback..swinging either way! and u’d think accepting both the encouragement and the critique with grace would be the right thing to do! but no….she goes and puts this silly video up, making her insecurities even more evident in the process!
    what, so now one cant speak one’s mind without u guys pasting the ‘elite’ stigma onto his/her forehead?
    Mehrbano: Kudos :) brilliant reply! I run a small business myself and know from experience that it takes a set to make things work in a country that is so rickety on its feet . I admire the determination and resilience women like u have to be able to do that! Recommend

  • Kamil Hamid

    What is truly sad here is that precisely what Nabiha predicted would happen has happened: People seem to be forgetting that this article is a commentary on a much larger social issue/problem and instead have decided that this the perfect opportunity for some mud-slinging. I think the “Why don’t you love me” post mocking you, perfectly captures how most of you are reacting right now.

    Grow up and get a grip.

    If you don’t like the ugly truth about the way our elite are so utterly disconnected from our country and its problems, DO something about it. It’s hysterical that so many of you claim that Nabiha has “too much free time” on her hands, and yet seem to be perfectly content to spend hours writing long posts that can be essentially summed up as: “WAAAAHH!”

    Really, all you’re doing is furthering Nabiha’s original point.
    Bravo Nabiha!Recommend

  • Kamil Hamid


    Ooooh, lookie! I haz no guts and thinks people won’t know who I am if I use the same nickname as an Israeli handgun!

    Try again.Recommend

  • Kamil Hamid

    Oh snap, that was my bad. Thought Uzi was talking to Nabiha. Sorry about that!Recommend

  • Mehr

    LOVE IT! Agreed 100%Recommend

  • Natasha S.

    What ‘tightdhoti’ said…Recommend

  • http:[email protected] sarah

    i am surprised to see Amna Taseer in this list! Recommend

  • Sardar Taimoor

    Though I completely agree with what Nabiha is trying to get across, I also feel sympathetic towards Mehrbano sethi and Selina Rashid.. They might not be the women who are shaking Pakistan and I do not know much about them but what I do know is that both have reached milestones in their respective areas of work and that in itself is something extremely commendable especially because we live in a country where professional ethics and individuality are found only in the most rare cases. Both these women, with their exceptional careers are great examples for women and even for men to follow.

    Having said that, what Nabiha is saying is absolutely right and we have to appreciate that though her way of saying it might not have been the most diplomatic of ways, nonetheless the merits of her argument are without doubt very strong. The fact that this article ignored some very great women (by even international standards) goes to show that we suffer from a delusion in that who ever we see on the Sunday Mag regularly is considered to be great and the likes of Hina Jillani, Arifa Saeeda and so many more are simply ignored; their on going struggles which stretch to decades rather than years were simply trashed in this article and this article was an unnecessary insult to a lot of people.

    And though I do not doubt that quite a few names in that list deserved to be there, the majority of names that ABSOLUTELY should have been there were not. But for that we have the editor to blame and not the two women mentioned in Nabiha’s article.

    I am all praises for Nabiha for having the guts to express herself as vocally and effectively as she did and at the same time I’m all praises for both the women mentioned in that article for stepping up to the task they set for themselves; I am not all praises, however, for the elitist culture that is developing in Lahore – it’s sickness in it’s worst form. Lahore’s elite needs a serious reality check! I personally consider half of them to be confused cockroaches anyway!Recommend

  • Ghazala Raojee

    aamna taseer is amazing, she deserves to be on that list. the description abt her is perfetRecommend

  • simplify

    @Concerned Elite:
    Why does it bother anyone that the elite is blindly loving themselves while the rest of the country is suffering-
    Simple: Botheration is only logical when elites show indifference and continue with their extravagances in the midst of hunger, poverty and disease.
    Why does it bother you that someone is making fun of the elites?Recommend

  • Cheryl

    Meharbono and her friends are attacking the author viciously. whatever happend to freedom of speech and bottling fair and lovely formula and selling it for 300 percent more to theit own people does not any ethnocentric entreprenuer make. u outsource the goods ,what abt quality control. do u have labs here in Pak to check that. Sadly you do use your fathers money and contact to gain foothold by marketing to aunties and richie rich kids who get easily impressedRecommend

  • Hina_A

    I think Hina Jillani would care the least about being on this list – because to people like her who are so devoted and committed for improving the social status of women in Pakistan – getting results are more important than being “branded” – I think we women have different issues at different levels – but what matters is what solution is required and the unity of women for any cause that supports women in Pakistan. Whether a makeup company makes women feel more beautiful or a social activist working for women issues, we as women need to unite to complete the cycle of women empowerment. So I would request everyone who have commented and who read this article to support and respect all the work which is being done by women at all level and causes – those looking for applaud of their work can have that – all we want is change and empowerment.Recommend