Islamabad: Many Pakistani celebrities, including actors and cricketers, on Thursday posted their photos after casting votes in the general elections and urged the voters to participate in the electoral process to choose the best representatives.
A public holiday was declared to enable a total of 128 million registered voters to cast their votes and elect a new government.
Pakistani actor and producer Humayun Saeed took to X and wrote, “Go and vote for a better Pakistan... Vote for Pakistan... Pakistan Zindabad!” Actress Saba Qamar also took to X and urged her followers to vote. “Pakistan! Remember to go out and vote tomorrow. Pakistan Zindabad,” she said.
Mahira Khan, who made her Bollywood debut in the 2017 film Raees opposite Shah Rukh Khan, also urged people to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
“No matter what you feel or who you want to vote for.. it’s important that we exercise our fundamental right to VOTE. See you all at the polls. InshAllah. Praying for peace and safety for all Ameen,” the 39-year-old wrote on X.
Cricket legend Wasim Akram, who was part of the 1992 Cricket World Cup-winning Pakistan team under jailed former prime minister Imran Khan, also took to the blogging website as he stated, “February 8 is an important day for people of Pakistan.
Somewhere inside us we all want to change our fate, our system and way of life and when we vote we use that power to choose the best. It’s our right, so go out and use that power of vote. Pakistan zindabad.”
Cricketer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is the current captain of Pakistan’s T20I team, also encouraged people to vote. “Voting is not only our right — it is our power! Go and vote tomorrow for better Pakistan InshaAllah. Pakistan Zindabad,” the 23-year-old said.
Actor Osman Khalid Butt took to X to share a photo of himself after casting his vote. “What a beautiful day to go out and VOTE,” the 37-year-old wrote as he flaunted the mark on his thumb showing his participation in the electoral process.
He also shared with his followers how mobile phones and digital watches are not allowed inside polling stations.
“Mobile phones and digital watches are not allowed inside the polling station. If you didn’t print your information (from messaging 8300), just memorise your block code and serial number or write it down before entering. It’ll help make the process easier,” he wrote.
Actor Adnan Malik expressed his displeasure with the voting process, calling it “deliberately confusing”, “easy to manipulate” and “archaic”.
In a post on X, the 44-year-old said, “I feel as if the voting process in this country needs to be revamped. It’s deliberately confusing, easy to manipulate, archaic and ultimately disheartening.”
“The service design approach isn't to make the experience smooth for the end user (voter) but seems to be kept deliberately chaotic so the system can be easily manipulated. Considering that my taxes fund the elections, I want a more reliable way to vote. Electoral reforms needed!” he added.
Actor Danish Taimoor took to Instagram to share a picture of the Pakistani flag and wrote “Pakistan Zindabad!” as the caption while his wife and acclaimed actress Ayeza Khan shared a similar post earlier.
Ayeza Khan also posted her photo on Instagram after voting as she showed a thumbs up sign showing an ink mark on her thumb. Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi also shared a photo of himself after casting his vote on an Instagram Story. “Voted,” he wrote alongside a thumbs-up emoji.
Meanwhile, singer Bilal Khan posted a video on Instagram showing how he “travelled 10,000 km from Canada” just to be able to cast his vote. The musician shared a video showing his flight and arrival to Pakistan as he encouraged his fans and followers to vote.
Singer Mustafa Zahid also seemed to be travelling as he posted his photo on X alongside Pakistani cricketer Babar Azam. "Look who I bumped into at the Dubai airport. Guess who are we voting for tomorrow and you can win yourself a ‘bat’!" he said.
The voting to the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies is taking place amid a crackdown on former prime minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. With Imran Khan in jail, Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is tipped to emerge as the single largest party in the elections.