There Are People in Pakistan Who Are Beautiful and Glamorous and Do Not Want to Kill You

You have to drive past the heavily guarded American consulate to get to the Karachi harbor. This is where Frieha Altaf, Pakistan’s biggest event planner, is celebrating her fiftieth birthday tonight. The yacht will sail at midnight. There will be a gorgeous spread — food, drink — and, in the early morning, the yacht will park at a sandy strip of the exclusive French Beach, and the guests will disembark to sunbathe. Sometime in the afternoon, Altaf will have to turn back to the city: Auditions for Pakistan Idol are taking place, and, of course, she’s involved. This is a busy week for Altaf. Million-dollar weddings await; so do fashion weeks. There are more than one.

Pakistani culture is a complicated animal. The pretty people are like a window into that culture. They remind us of the universal forces that beat and rumble in concert with all the other pulses and impulses and rhythms. There are many. You’d have to get through the tight security cordons of fashion week marquees to feel that rumble: the whiff of Chanel No. 5, click of Louboutins and funky Kirkwoods. The models here, like models everywhere, battle eating disorders, and the average socialite’s lips are mostly inorganic. But fashion isn’t just elitist. The country’s top couturier, Rizwan Beyg, gets a standing ovation for bringing truck art from W11 public buses to the runway. Women walking to work have traded their voluminous shalwars for straight cotton trousers. Multi-retail stores stocking Pakistani labels are popping up like windows on Macbook screens. University girls go mall-trawling in foreign brands like Mango, Next and Nine West.


  1. Nabil

    Is this a satirical website?

  2. sana

    so basically you outlined all the reasons this state is falling apart… oh no this sounds more like the french rev… where marie antoinette (hate to make this comparison bw frieha and marie - because despite her flaws marie was atleast royalty and had some class) is celebrating her 50th and the masses are in a blood bath!
    really shameful to be talking about all this…..

  3. Oh! So, Beautiful, you intend to imply that Freiha and Rizwan and their fashion fiesta represents the “good” Taliban here, so they won’t hunt the “buyers” down, right? Much like the cool collaborators that ex-socialite Imran Khan is looking out for the dialogue, right?
    You are sweet.

  4. codetta

    WOW…there is vapid and mind numbingly cringe worthy and then there is you Aamna. An oversized wanna be who feels that what she writes is such a WONDERFUL encompassing analogy of what is going on in Pakistan. Oh wait..I think you just mean Karachi..have you EVER ventured out to any other part of the country?

    Forget our countries issues, that would be akin to flogging a dead horse. Your article just shows your absolute vapid mindset.

    Back to the drawing room for you I would suggest with some article WORTH their time and effort.

  5. fatima

    “Pakistani culture is a complicated animal. The pretty people are like a window into that culture. They remind us of the universal forces that beat and rumble in concert with all the other pulses and impulses and rhythms.”

    I think I vomited a little in my mouth.

  6. nha

    What an incredibly badly written, poorly conceived and horribly superficial attempt to articulate a ‘complex’ picture of Pakistan. My goodness! What are we celebrating here?

  7. FTS

    What crap, seriously !!!

  8. aftab


    Thanks for the laugh.

  9. Shahid

    relax people, it’s just an article. i wish i had been on that yacht must have been fun. perhaps the writer is trying to imply that this place is not all that catastrophic and we have people celebrating la tomatino in Lahore, party all night on yachts and lie naked on beaches.

  10. Sahar

    All I got from this was “Let them eat cake.” And we all know what happened to Marie Antoinette

  11. Omar

    This article was the price paid to be on that yacht…

  12. Omar

    Btw the author and Freiha are best buddies…she is that writer who only gives positive publicity to her ‘friends’ and believe me there were no beautiful people present there. Just old people getting older and desperately & greedily trying to grasp on to their undeserving fame.

  13. Batul

    There are also people in Pakistan who certainly want to kill YOU for writing such a horrible piece of Sh**! And you call yourself a journalist & a writer?

    @Omar —LOL…you nailed it - this article was the price paid to be on that yatch!

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