TORONTO : Women should not be underestimated, considered meek and weak and taken for granted. They too are capable, powerful and ever ready to face even the toughest challenges. They are contributing tremendously and positively in the richness of the society and progress and prosperity of the people and the country. They must be accepted and respected as such.

            This was stated by Sonia Ahmed, President of Miss Canada Pakistan Inc., when  contacted on telephone for comments on the show and role of the media run by Canadians of Pakistani Origin.

            “The media run by Canadians of Pakistani Origin has disappointed and hurt me a lot. I gave them a lot of respect and cooperated with them in the best possible ways. In return, every time they wrote rubbish against me and my show. I tolerated them and their venomous propaganda a lot but was compelled to decide and declare a ban on their entry to my shows. Now I will not let them come near my shows for even 100 years.  Police will be there to make sure they don’t enter or create a scene. I will not hesitate in throwing them out of the hall. The show is mine and I reserve the right to even make the VIP leave the premise. One can imagine how much I am fed up with them,” Sonia said.

            HORRIBLE SCENE: Sonia Ahmed said: “The scene that was created in my latest show was just shameful and horrible. The abuses hurled at me were the filthiest Punjabi ones ever heard. I have not one, two or three but about twenty five witnesses. The person boasted of being an editor of a leading Urdu newspaper but was a total nuisance. He lowered the heads in shame of the Pakistani community in Canada . How could I let him go after he tarnished the image of Pakistan and Pakistanis in Canada ? No way. Police had to be involved.”  

            “Being a Canadian of Pakistani Origin, this decision was very painful for me. I too love Pakistan and Pakistanis very much and never wanted to go this far but I was left with no choice.  The elements campaigning against me and my show don’t seem to understand anything. Their thinking is narrow, approach totally non-professional and attitude of worst type. They have a set mind and belong to the yellow journalism class,” she said.

            YELLOW JOURNALISTS: Sonia said: “I cannot let any yellow journalist and such creeps exploit, blackmail, harass and threaten me. I belong to a highly respected and educated class. I damn care about them. I am ready to face them on all fronts. It is necessary to teach them a good lesson. This is Canada and here they cannot treat us as slaves and keeps. No way, we cannot let this happen.  We know how to defend ourselves and give a befitting reply.”

            “I am not alone. My colleagues and team mates are all females. They are all with me. We are a group of liberal minded women, mostly young ones of age group up to 30. Being liberal does not mean that we are promoting pornography or corrupting the society, as these creep of darkness and illiteracy class think and propagate. We are broad-minded and think of good and betterment in the best open and positive ways. This is our right, commitment and objective,” she said.

            SUNNI MUSLIM: Sonia said: “They keep changing my religion by labeling me as Ahmadi, Shia and blah, blah. Let me declare that I am a Sunni Muslim and a Canadian of Pakistani Origin and I am proud of it.  I don’t feel ashamed of being called a Pakistani. I love my country of origin very much. That is why I am promoting Pakistan , the beautiful people and the culture. The show is meant to provide entertainment to the people. Even Canadians attend the show in large numbers and contribute in its great success. The shows remained a sold out and this shows our achievement and success.”

            “In the beginning, I was given a very hard time but now the sailing is smooth. Now people understand us and our objective. What is the harm if Indians including Hindus too are supporting us? Don’t they belong to Canada and the South Asian community? The elements against me are just sick and dirty. Only God can help them. It is better to stay away from them and that is why the ban imposed,” Sonia said.

            “I am not against anyone. I don’t interfere in activities of Mullahs or others and don’t give any comment against them. They are doing their job and we ours. Let it be as such. I am focusing only on our objective and its promotion. This itself is a tough job and a great challenge,” Sonia said.

            MISSION : Sonia Ahmed said: “I established the company, Miss Canada Pakistan Inc., and the pageant in 2002, which later grew into Miss Pakistan World. Miss Pakistan World's mission is to find positive, energetic role models who will represent and inspire the Pakistani youth within their great community as well as internationally. In addition, the pageant was created to highlight Pakistan in the world and to bring together the youth and the hidden talents of Pakistan .”

            “It also brings Pakistani women in new light as artists, judges and contestants. The company has been successfully running since 2002 and is always looking for intelligent and confident individuals representing Pakistan in the global community,” she added.           

            Sonia said: “The first official Pakistani beauty pageant took place in Canada under the awning of Miss Canada Pakistan Inc. Zehra Sheerazi was the first queen crowned as Miss Pakistan World 2003, who later became the first Pakistani delegate to participate in an international pageant, World Miss University Pageant 2003. She achieved the title of Miss Peace Ambassador. Since then the international pageant doors opened up for Pakistani beauty queens through the company. Pakistan ’s participation in international pageants brought Pakistani beauty queens in the international pageantry limelight.”

            Sonia said: “Miss Pakistan World has officially become a global pageant under the name, Miss Pakistan World, with delegates participating from all corners of the world. This year Pakistan will be represented in several international pageants. Miss Canada Pakistan Inc. is an organization that supports today's Pakistani women. The delegates who become part of Miss Pakistan World pageant are young women who participate in the competitions to bring about a change as well as become role models for the Pakistani communities all over the world. They represent Pakistan in international pageants like Miss Earth, Miss Tourism and other international pageants.”

            Sonia Ahmed said: “ Pakistan as a country has immense beauty, as it is surrounded by various countries that feed their ethnicity into Pakistan . Pakistan has the best of Middle East, South Asia, Russia , China and Persia . There is a saying that Pakistan has a beauty queen in each little street or neighbourhood. The women of Pakistan have always remained hidden due to their cultural bounding. But today in this century, Pakistani women have come out and expressed their love for entertainment, their country and the desire to make a difference for the women of Pakistan .”

            MESSAGE: In her concluding remarks, Sonia said: “My message is very clear: The world must know that Pakistan is changing and moving fast towards progress, prosperity and stability. The changes are not verbal but visible. Only those who want to keep the people slaves and exploited and are not happy with the new glowing face of Pakistan are extremely disturbed. It is but natural. Just damn care about them and look towards the future of Pakistan .”

            For details of all the shows and the organization, visit the website:

            EDITOR ARRESTED/CHARGED: In a Press release issued recently by the Urdu newspaper and the Canadian lawyer, it was stated: “On April 25, 2006, Mr. Muhammad Afzaal, Canadian Managing Editor of The New York-based Urdu language newspaper Pakistan Post, was arrested and charged by Peel Regional police. He was released on bail to appear before court on 24 of May 2006.

            “Muhammad. Afzaal Rana is the Managing Editor of the Pakistan Post, the largest Urdu language newspaper in North America .On April 1, 2006, he went to Sugan Convention Centre to cover The Fourth Annual Miss Pakistan World beauty contest organized by Miss Canada Pakistan INC. He bought an entry ticket and entered into the Hall. He was approached by Ms. Sonia Ahmed who was managing this event. Ms. Ahmed told him that Pakistani Press was not allowed to cover the event and asked him to leave the premises.

            “On April 25, 2006, Mr. Muhammad Afzaal Rana was arrested by Peel Regional Police. He was charged under section 264.1 (1) (a) Criminal Code for uttering death threats to Sonia Ahmed. Mr. Muhammad states that his newspaper has been covering this event for last three years. Pakistan Post is the only Urdu language newspaper in North America with a proven track record of promoting and encouraging the events like this.

            “The paper has been editorializing the issues of women rights and freedom for many years. This newspaper is constantly publishing articles and columns against fundamentalism and cultural oppression in South Asia . The paper advocates freedom, democracy and justice in Pakistan and support the women's movement for their rights and cultural freedom.

            “Muhammad maintains that it is a conspiracy against him and his paper. He said that this false case was registered against him because of his impartial and accurate reporting about this event and its sponsors. Muhammad maintains that his case is an example of the personal vendetta and attack on the freedom of expression.

            “Barrister Abdul Hamid Bashani Khan, a Canadian Lawyer acting for the defendant, said that the paper is widely respected for its liberal polices and for holding the highest standards of journalism. He said that 'Freedom of expression' is one of the fundamental freedom protected by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. This right is widely respected in Canada and cannot be limited without reasonable grounds.

            “The groups who are trying to curtail this right are using different means to intimidate the media. A group of pro-Taliban Afghanis placed a bomb in an Urdu newspaper office couple of year ago, and eventually forced the newspaper to close down through conspiracies, civil and criminal law suits. Many pressure groups try to sue and implicate journalists in false criminal cases. Small community newspapers are the easy target because they do not have enough resources to pay legal bills and defend themselves in courts of law.

            “He said that the groups which do not respect journalists' right to report freely try to use the institutions of government as the instruments of media harassment and intimidation and force the newspapers to declare bankruptcy. This is highly troubling and unfortunate situation in South Asian community. Using police and threat to use the courts is an attempt to stifle the liberal and progressive Urdu language newspapers.”

                The Canadian laywer, Abdul Hamid Bashani Khan, is a Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public. His website is