Sonia Ahmed is one busy woman. With applications coming in from around the world, she has the enviable task of choosing the best and brightest from a host of female applicants. One of these ladies will end up wearing the crown of Miss Pakistan. For the past seven years, Canada-based Sonia Ahmed has been the president of Miss Pakistan World, and rightly now she is focused on the upcoming event scheduled to be held in Toronto in September, when the new Miss Pakistan will be chosen.
The only condition that one needs to fulfill to participate in the event is a Pakistani passport. Pakistani girls living abroad and having different nationalities are eligible to participate but they are required to show papers proving their Pakistani nationality.
Talking to The Express Tribune via e-mail, Sonia Ahmed said that she had originally planned to hold the event in Pakistan but that wasn’t possible due to security concerns. Speaking about the criteria on which the participants are judged she said, “the participants are judged on the basis of their speaking abilities, overall looks and a good proportionate body. We want a good figured contender, who can represent Pakistan on an international level in international pageants. There are two different panels that judge the contestants. The first panel are on the preliminary interview panel where each contestant is asked about 20-25 questions. The second panel is on the day of the pageant, where they judge the contestants, on the way they speak, the way they look, their talent, and finally on the way they perform”.
The judges themselves will be a motley lot. “We have lawyers, entertainers, publicists, entrepreneurs, doctors and others, who participate in the judging and become part of the process,” Sonia said.
This year’s contest may also have a surprise or two, as it’s likely that our own desi girls Meera, Resham, Reema and Veena Malik will participate. When asked which of these stars has the potential to win the crown, Sonia Ahmed said, “In my opinion, Veena Malik would deserve to represent Pakistan as Miss Pakistan, as she is not only fit, but is a strong speaker, and a great performer. The first runner up will be Reema, as she is well groomed and a great dancer who can also hold a conversation. Meera would likely get the runner up two position, as she is a good performer but lacks in the speaking department. And last but not least, runner up three will be Resham, as her overall looks are not very pageant-like, but her talent is undeniable. Veena will suit us as Miss Pakistan World, as she has a bold attitude towards life, and is a strong believer in women’s rights. That’s the type of woman we are looking for”. She said that the winner of the pageant, as well as the runner ups, will be gifted diamond jewellry, trips to international pageants, hotel accommodations, laptops and other such presents.
Sonia says the pageant will be quite a show, but also adds that a whole lot of work goes into it.
“The pageant process is a long one, where each contestant is groomed via the packages sent to them. The pageant organising takes place a good year ahead of the actual pageant date. My expectations would be always to exceed the standard set by last year’s show. I want a better event, a better crowd and a better group of girls and finally a better winner every year,” she declared.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2011.