Junaid Akram gets candid in Instagram tell-all

Vlogger answers fiery questions about governance, retirement and more


Entertainment Desk October 18, 2021

Vlogger and social media influencer Junaid Akram recently took to his Instagram to answer his fans’ burning questions. Using the ‘Ask me anything’ feature on the app, Akram satisfied the curiosities of several fans and followers, shedding light on things ranging from his views on education in Pakistan, all the way to why people in the country appear to have a subpar work ethic.

Akram, who left a life in Dubai to move back to Pakistan, explained to a fan inquiring about his financial situation at the time, that he arrived in Pakistan with AED 20,000 in hand. “The best part was, I owed no one a single penny,” shared the vlogger, adding, “Most people end up in debt. I didn’t give into the flashy Dubai lifestyle.” 

On the issue of poor work ethic in the country, Akram shared that he believes the root of the problem may be Muslims’ idea of a guaranteed ticket to heaven on the basis of their faith in the afterlife. “When you ingrain the idea from childhood that no matter what you do, as a Muslim, one day you will go to heaven. So, when you incentivise heaven so low, how do you expect people to be on high moral grounds?” shared the comedian. He added further, When you give them the option of an Umrah during Ramzan [that] will wash away all [their] sins, they keep doing the sins and take a trip like laundry in [a] washing machine." 

When a fan asked Akram what his thoughts were on the education system in Pakistan, he revealed that he doesn’t rate toppers in high regard. “Most of these high scorers end up nowhere in life. They’re parrots devoid of any social skill. Most struggle to enter a university.” He then asked what happens to these high achievers after the results are announced. “We see so many stories of these high scorers. Yeh kahan ghayab hojatay hain phir [Where do they disappear to afterwards]?” 

Elaborating on what he believes Pakistani society needs to work on in order to become more progressive, Akram wrote, “Tolerance and respect for other religions.” He lamented, “We should be taught comparative religions in school. Sadly, our curriculum is very anti-Hindu.” 

On why Pakistani intellectuals are not given the recognition and respect they deserve in the country, Akram said, “Jab jahilon ke samadar main koi aqal ki baat karega, tou ussay Yahoodi agent hee bolenge [Whenever someone will try to say anything intellectual in a sea of fools, they will obviously be labeled as Jewish agents].” 

Furthering this idea of tolerance, the vlogger, when asked about what caused Pakistan to go from a cultural hub in the 60s to where it is now, asserted that the issue may have a lot to do with alcohol. “Whichever good era of Pakistan you pick up, you’ll find one common factor - Alcohol. When was PIA booming? When they were serving alcohol. We were Asian tigers in the 60s and 70s? We had bars and clubs.” He elaborated further, “I’m not saying alcohol is our only salvation, but it opens doors to a lot of economic activity. Somebody needs to do this research.” 

The comedian added a side note to address the backlash later on, writing, “Now, before you Fatwa-zone me, read Murree Brewery’s sales report this year, according to which 61% of Pakistanis are non-Muslims because God forbid a Muslim sips on a vodka.” 

Responding to a fan hypothetically asking the vlogger what the three things would be on his agenda as prime minister of the country, Akram shared, “First, financial and mobility access to women. No country has made it without having an active [women] workforce.” 

He added further, “Secondly, re-education camps for middle-aged people to cut off the supply line of hate and intolerance. Thirdly, promotion  of arts and culture.” After a user commented on how Akram should just run Karachi if he believes it’s all so simple, the vlogger wrote in response, “52% of Karachi comes under cantonment. That is directly run by the army. For the rest, if we talk about basic facilities, water board and police come under provincial domain and electricity supplies come under federal. So, in essence, you’re only left with the municipality.” 

He continued, “Sounds great. At least I can get Karachi cleaned, right? Well, how do I enforce police to go against industries that are causing the most amount of environmental damage with their waste? So, essentially, your only power is getting your men in KMC so they can sit at home and take salaries.”  

When asked by a fan whether he is more focused on his goals or the process to achieve them, Akram revealed that he subscribes to the former camp. “Goal focused. Process works itself out. There’s a quote, ‘When you don’t know where you want to be, you’ll end up someplace else.’”  

On what exactly it is that inspires him and motivates him to keep going, Akram shared his dreams of a comfortable retirement. “My retirement home that’s waiting for me somewhere and [looks] something like this,” he wrote, while sharing a picture of a house by a lake.

After a fan wrote in asking how the vlogger believes a man can be made to feel like a prince, so that he treats his significant other with an equally royal treatment, Akram advocated for a day of good food and complete distance. “If you’re married to that man, once a year, cook him something that he likes and leave the house so he can do whatever he wants. He will appreciate you for the rest of the year. Don’t call, text, anything. Just vanish for a day out of his life.” 

Explaining how he doesn’t let the hate affect him too much, Akram wrote, “Hate always comes from above you or behind you. Jis darakht par phal hota hai, uss hi par pathar partay hain [The tree that bears the most fruit is the one that gets pelted with stones the most]. Will Elon [Musk] ever hate me? No. He’s way ahead of me.”

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