Nargis Fakhri responds to Urdu newspaper ad controversy

Published: December 22, 2015
The Bollywood actress spoke her heart out in an official statement, responding to the fury caused by the ad.

The Bollywood actress spoke her heart out in an official statement, responding to the fury caused by the ad.

Nargis Fakhri — the lady in red who sparked outrage on social media following her ad in leading Urdu newspapers — has finally opened up about the strife surrounding her.

Urdu newspaper ad featuring Nargis Fakhri sparks outrage on social media

The Bollywood actress spoke her heart out in an official statement, responding to the fury caused by the telecommunication company’s ad. “I’ve been with Mobilink as their brand ambassador for the last three years and there has never been an issue like this. I was unaware that they would consider using this visual for a mainstream newspaper ad – an Urdu daily as it was never meant to be.”

The ad which displayed Nargis lying down on the front page of Urdu dailies drew strong reactions from Pakistanis and caused quite a furor on social media.


Nargis disclosed that she was just as shocked by the ad and shared her side of the story. “As a model or celebrity, I have always believed in using my persona to help further a brand’s communication but never to have it used where I end up being objectified for my looks.

No pain, no weight gain for Nargis

“Culturally too, my team and I are aware and respectful of what visuals work for which mediums, markets and audiences and hence, given the brand’s firm penetration in the Pakistani market, we left it up to their expertise to use the images appropriately,” read her statement, reports Pinkvilla.

Pakistanis across the country woke up on Sunday to the seemingly innocent ad that simply shows a woman lying down with a phone in her hand.

Controversial advertisement: SSP suspended for issuing covering letter

Many readers including journalists viewed the ad as objectionable and took to Twitter to condemn it for obscenity.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (43)

  • Ahmad
    Dec 22, 2015 - 2:36PM

    I didn’t find anything wrong with this front page, this is what happening around the globe we can’t stop such things with our religious arguments & believes . #Mr.Ansar Abbasi if you have any problem with this please stop reading “Jag” or better to move Afghanistan i hope you may find your eternal peace there and can live happily with Taliban. Pakistan is going to be liberal state and we don’t need such persons those feel offended by girls posters. Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Dec 22, 2015 - 2:43PM

    now liberals can have a sigh of relief.
    for them, nargis fakhri is in camp of ansar abbasiRecommend

  • Pakistani Sindhi
    Dec 22, 2015 - 2:49PM

    Look what you did Mr. Ansar Abbasi!

    You are a sympathizer with Taliban / religious-fanatics (as is obvious from your years old pro-Taliban columns). You have added more disgrace to Pakistan by tweeting your silly expression. You’re merely proving to the outside world that our country still has religious nutcases like you like (despite the success ongoing military-operation against terrorists).

    Pakistanis should condemn Mr. Ansar Abbasi as much as possible; 21st century must not belong to these religious zealots; people like him have harmed Pakistan/Islam more than those whom he accuse of (in his columns). Recommend

  • Savvy
    Dec 22, 2015 - 2:53PM

    What’s objectionable there ? She is completely covered . Women curves are also objectionable now , better get your minds checked.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Dec 22, 2015 - 2:59PM

    Still i don’t understand, what’s the point of making her brand ambassador of Pakistani company? She doesn’t consider herself Pakistani….and i noticed she always wishes to Indian on their rituals in her fb,twitter ac but she never wishes pak independence day on his fb, twitter acRecommend

  • polaroid_paranoid
    Dec 22, 2015 - 3:11PM

    you dont see anyone tweeting about objectification and “fahaashat” when you keep watching these actors gyrating to the latest item number on their screens.

    shes a beautiful woman and everyone likes looking at beautiful women. also, in case no one knew – sex sells. not just sex itself but it also sells stuff for people.

    lastly – “As a model or celebrity, I have always believed in using my persona to help further a brand’s communication but never to have it used where I end up being objectified for my looks.”

    seriously Nargis??? so prancing around in skimpy clothes in films is “empowering” and being on the cover of jang is “objectification”?Recommend

  • Raisani
    Dec 22, 2015 - 3:19PM

    Seems like Nargis has ethics unlike our Pak Media. Recommend

  • Really?
    Dec 22, 2015 - 3:30PM

    I saw the ad. What’s the big deal?Recommend

  • Riz
    Dec 22, 2015 - 3:32PM

    @roadkashehzada , she has no choice left ..Recommend

    Dec 22, 2015 - 4:11PM

    for 60 years urdu newspapers and urdu media has been showing terrorists , religious terrorists and terror sympathizers . Finally something good in Nargis Fakhri adv . I therefore lodge my strong protest to all terrorists and Ansar Abbasi. Please go away to your kingdom or Satan State Recommend

  • SH
    Dec 22, 2015 - 5:23PM

    Keeping everything else aside, the ad is downright absurd and creepy!Recommend

  • Abdur Rehman Mughal
    Dec 22, 2015 - 6:06PM

    Its not Ansar Abbasi who looks fedup its you Ahmed who gave up.. He raised his voice and its what everyone should do. If you are so helpless that its happening around the globe etc, then bddy you must move yourself to that globally adopted cultures. This place PAKISTAN has been dedicated to Muslims. and muslims values should be adopted here.Recommend

  • Imtiaz
    Dec 22, 2015 - 6:35PM


    and being on the cover of jang is “objectification”?

    Clearly that’s how Pakistanis see it. As she points out:

    “Culturally too, my team and I are aware and respectful of what visuals work for which mediums, markets and audiences and hence, given the brand’s firm penetration in the Pakistani market, we left it up to their expertise to use the images appropriately,”

    What works in one country may not work in another. Also she’s blaming mobilink for the fiasco in typical south asian fashion :)

    Anyway this is why internet penetration rates are so low in Pakistan. The net is not for prudes!Recommend

  • Human
    Dec 22, 2015 - 6:50PM

    What Jang did is shameful- as expected of a group who can go to any extent for a few bucks.
    And to those who are trying to compare one bad act (obcenity) by the presence of another (terrorism), has it ever occurred to you that most of us common people of this country disapprove of BOTH!?Recommend

  • liberal
    Dec 22, 2015 - 8:24PM

    @ Ahmed I don’t get this idea why do people start sending people to different countries if they criticize or speak their point of view. as if you are liberal and tolerant only if you speak one side of the story.If you don’t like this add you should go to Afghanistan go to Taliban. Why objectify females. All products from tractors to mobiles use bikini clad models to sell their products. It is commercialization and we love as who does not like women it but if someone speaks against it you should appreciate him.Recommend

  • ShamelessPakistanis
    Dec 22, 2015 - 9:07PM

    Just because the World is becoming shameless & immoral we also become. Idiotic thinking. Recommend

  • Concerned
    Dec 22, 2015 - 11:12PM

    How is this ad NOT objectifying women? Why do only slim and smart women with revealing clothing make it into popular ads?? A women’s worth and dignity lies in her modesty, knowledge, opinions, wisdom and the utmost respect for her in society as a mother. Until the time we realize how these values are far superior to what the west or our bollywood crazed neighbor have, we will have no respect in this world or the hereafter. Recommend

  • ibs
    Dec 22, 2015 - 11:19PM

    “As a model or celebrity, I have always believed in using my persona to help further a brand’s communication but never to have it used where I end up being objectified for my looks”.

    Seriously Nargis? You do realize being a “model” is the highest form of being objectified and you are being used as an object to promote whatever it is you promote, but its ok since you get paid for it.Recommend

  • ali
    Dec 23, 2015 - 12:18AM

    Mr ahmad …very shameful of your thoughts….you are secular we are not…we are muslim pakistanis with our own culture….hope your mommy lay like this in front of all and then i ask from you….Recommend

  • VGP
    Dec 23, 2015 - 2:42AM

    @Abdur Rehman Mughal: : Nargis Fakhri also is a muslim Recommend

  • ShamelessPakistanis
    Dec 23, 2015 - 5:59AM

    So is zardari, nawaz, altaf, musharraf, imran khan etc. Recommend

  • straightshooter
    Dec 23, 2015 - 6:15AM

    Never thought I would read an Altaf Bhai piece sooo closely. Go figure!

    Mr Abbasi’s disgust is his opinion, a commodity not easily available among the Taliban. Must one be offered a one-way ride to Afghanistan (instead of a sound rebuttal) if they somehow don’t tow our line of enlightenment?

    @Pakistani Sindhi:
    Attaboy!! Agree with every word!Recommend

  • Komal S
    Dec 23, 2015 - 7:59AM

    I guess if she was lying down with her burqa on, it would been okay with you. I am amazed at Pakistan’s sense of values, fully covered women lying down, is too much for Pakistanis to handle.I can see this newspaper ad hidden under pillow etc… just like others do with playboy magazines… By the way the phone company is laughing its way to the bank.Recommend

  • whatever
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:47AM

    and these Pakistanis living in stone age saying India is intolerantRecommend

  • Bewildered
    Dec 23, 2015 - 9:56AM


    “Nargis Fakhri also is a muslim”

    Not sure. Her story is more like of Katrina Kaif. She was born in USA to a Christian Czech women and a Muslim father, but was raised by her mother after divorce when she was only 6. Google her pictures to decide for yourself. However, as someone pointed out here, she has more ethics than our liberals.Recommend

  • kamran
    Dec 23, 2015 - 11:45AM

    Pakistan can never be a liberal state. It was created on the basis of Islam and it will run like a Democratic Islamic Country IN SHA ALLAH. Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Dec 23, 2015 - 12:18PM

    Nice ad. Can see the phone, but then where is the girl???Recommend

  • Azad Khayal
    Dec 23, 2015 - 12:36PM

    Those who are complaining have also thoroughly enjoyed the ad. Recommend

  • Dec 23, 2015 - 2:21PM

    This is shameful. For those using a (photo shopped) woman as a tool to sell phones. And the seths 4 printing it. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Dec 23, 2015 - 3:34PM

    Ha, ha……now a lot more people know who Nargis Fikhri is.Recommend

  • Haider
    Dec 23, 2015 - 4:50PM

    @Ahmad: Er, no this is not happening around the globe. Only someone without exposure would claim something like that. You will never find such a sleazy ad placement on the front page of any broadsheet newspaper anywhere. Pick up The New York Times, or the San Francisco Chronicle, or The Guardian, or The Independent and see if you can ever find anything like this.

    This is about editorial standards and journalism, and objectifying women’s bodies for crass commercialism. It’s not about morality or liberalism (or its lack). What a ludicrous & absurd argument to make.Recommend

  • LS
    Dec 23, 2015 - 8:15PM


    Wow a woman dressed completely only shows her face and hands along with body curves and people who look at that are shameless? I bet you must have also seen women on street wearing trousers or salvar kurta not covering their face and their body curves shows — is that shameless? You need to see a doctor. You are a person of pervert mindset.Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 24, 2015 - 12:28AM

    It’s not a morphed image. The picture is from a photo shoot for a Pakistani telecommunication brand of which Ms Fakhri is a brand ambassador of since the past 3 years.
    people found the image to be inappropriately placed in an Urdu daily (newspaper) @Nimrat Kaur: Recommend

  • Amir
    Dec 24, 2015 - 9:56AM

    Nothing wrong with the ad, only our mental state. Rest of the newspaper got on the bandwagon to criticize, and kicking their own creative department why the didn’t think of it.Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2015 - 1:50AM

    This ad will give motivation to our women to focus on fitness. Recommend

  • Adil
    Dec 25, 2015 - 10:39AM

    The argument from liberals lacks the basic understanding about Pakistani and Muslim culture. Khas hey tarqeeb mein qome rasul e hashmi. It has nothing to do with 21st century. The company, the model, the media and so called liberals should value the sentiments of millions who see the ad as obscene and disgraceful and must apologise. The response from Nargis is merely a political statement.Recommend

  • SH
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:01PM

    @Komal S:
    No, I kept religion and clothing aside. I meant the placement of the ad is absurd. The same thing could have been done on another page or in a better way.Recommend

  • Rose Gaurd
    Dec 25, 2015 - 2:41PM

    @Pakistani Sindhi:
    I live in USA and you could not say any better comments, thank you
    its these Terrorist radical groupies who name of islam and culture are destroying Pakistan.. Poeple need to do something about them because they want to change Pakistan in a Taliban run entity..Recommend

  • parveez
    Jan 3, 2016 - 5:53PM

    Whats wrong, with a picture. We need to grow up, and clean our minds. We see worse things on Pakistan tv, and stage drama.Recommend

  • Noddy
    Jan 11, 2016 - 7:56PM

    Dont see anything wrong with this Ad,
    this would be laying around i nmy house, and no one would notice itRecommend

  • Yusuf
    Jan 13, 2016 - 3:50AM

    If Pakistani young guys wants a liberal Pakistan with girls like Nargis Fakhri,so for that Pakistani guys also need to clean their dirty minds towards girls like her.That is the difference between the minds of Pakistanis and Westerns.Recommend

  • Jan 20, 2016 - 6:29PM

    I think this ad was meant for possible customers in Peshawar areas. Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Mar 21, 2016 - 11:44AM

    A fully clothed woman lying down is shameless??
    Turn the page sideways and she magically becomes respectable since she would appear to be standing

    The problem is not with the woman or the ad, the problem is with your thinkingRecommend

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