Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza, who married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik last year, has been included in a list of ‘100 women who shake Pakistan’.
Mirza, who chose to live in Dubai after her high-profile and controversial marriage to Malik, finds a mention in the list alongside former federal minister Sherry Rehman, women’s rights champion Mukhtaran Mai, and Um-e Hassan, the wife of hardline Lal Masjid cleric. The list compiled by Newsweek Pakistan magazine describes Mirza as a "tennis pro (who) has been welcomed by Pakistanis as their own".
Many Pakistanis have expressed surprise at Mirza being included in the list. "One conflicting lady is Sania Mirza whom I think cannot and should not be included in this list unless she becomes a Pakistani citizen," posted a Pakistani housewife who blogs by the same name. "How did Sania Mirza make it to that list.
Last I saw her she was winning games for India. Don’t mean to be harsh or anything but isn’t this thread about proud Pakistani women?" wrote a reader on the defence.pk website. A "Karachi feminist" pooh-poohed the list, saying "it fits the paradigm of how westerners write about Pakistan.
"If it’s not going to be the terror militant suicide angle, then it should be about defiance, spirit, resilience – their art, their bold and talented women, their unique industries," the author posted on her blog lurkinginambush.blogspot.com.
"Then the glaring exclusions that simply do not make sense. I am not supporting their inclusion — but it does not add up why Aseefa Zardari (of anti-polio achievements and a father) would make the list and Fatima Bhutto (also of father fame) would be dropped…" she added.
Another blogger ‘applauded’ the inclusion of Mehrbano Sethi, "who introduced Luscious Cosmetics in a country where makeup was largely unavailable… 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," wrote Nabeela Meher on her blog.(PTI)