HomeLife StyleHSY wants Pakistani media to stop amplifying India | The Express Tribune

HSY wants Pakistani media to stop amplifying India | The Express Tribune

In a thought-provoking interview with podcast host Adnan Faisal, renowned Pakistani actor and fashion designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, popularly known as HSY, delved into the critical issue of increasing discontent among Pakistanis towards the country. Expressing concern over the negative discourse surrounding Pakistan, Hassan emphasised the need for a shift in perspective, urging his fellow citizens to recognise and cherish the significance of their homeland.

“We talk about Pakistan very negatively. I think we don’t understand our country; we don’t give it the importance that it deserves,” remarked HSY, challenging the prevalent narrative that often overlooks the country’s true essence.

Addressing the phenomenon of brain drain, he urged people to invest their time and energy in Pakistan, underlining the importance of contributing to the nation’s growth and supporting its diverse population, including those with disabilities. “No matter how many people leave in a brain drain to Dubai or London…No you should live here and give [the country] your time.”

‘Pakistan Zindabad’

He furthered on, “Pakistan is our home and if we abandon it right now, then what would happen to it? I feel now is not only the time to invest in the country and its businesses, but also its people who need our help, the disabled, the poeple who cannot see and bring them back to the space of life.”

Hassan, who launched his illustrious fashion label HSY in 2000, shared insights into his brand’s mission statement, focusing on promoting the “made in Pakistan” ethos not just in products but also in “hearts, souls, and spirits”. He passionately declared his commitment to Pakistan, stating, “I could easily move out, but this is my home. Who would leave their home? I will never leave.”

Touching upon the country’s history of facing challenges, the celebrity highlighted the pivotal role of the younger generation, comprising over 50% of Pakistan’s population. He stressed the need to instill in them a sense of pride and belonging to their homeland, advocating for a positive narrative with the slogan ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.

“In our short history, when has Pakistan not faced a tough time? We’ve always been raising our voices but the most important thing is what are we doing. You should remember that over 50% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 35,” he pointed out.

Hope for the young

According to the designer, “Millions of young people are waiting to take the next position and if you instill in them that their home is ‘wrong,’ where will they go? Our voice, our narrative, the story we tell the world and everyone else, should be Pakistan Zindabad. Not we don’t know what will happen to this country. We have to change that.”

Always candid about the hard work and obstacles that shaped his journey to prominence, Hassan offered himself as a humble example of how country-wide crises don’t barricade success. He said, “I am not praising myself but in this very country, in these very conditions, amid the red tape, the bureaucracy and all, I started my company with only Rs.2500.”

“Today we stand with zero debt and zero loans and we did all of this with our strength in these conditions,” he divulged how his business steadily prospered in spite of persistent adversities.     

The actor also elaborated on his recent objection to Indian actors appearing in Pakistani advertisements. Hassan expressed his unwavering stance, asserting that he is willing to bear any consequences for speaking the truth. “There are many beautiful people in my own country who buy my clothes,” he affirmed, prioritising the authenticity of his message over potential business impacts.

Pakistani media on India 

However, he maintained that this was not some “political statement” and insisted, “I haven’t received any hatred from their people (Indians). Art can remain an exchange but in life, there should be one rule: give respect, take respect. If I am not receiving respect, what can I reciprocate?”

Conclusively, HSY contended that media institutions have a major role to play in the level of attention afforded to cross-border affairs. “I don’t think we should give this much attention to them (Indians). Do Americans constantly talk about Canada? Do people in Dubai constantly talk about Qatar? So what happened to us?” he posed the rhetorical query.

“I can’t peer inside hearts that are impressed with Indians as to why they are so but I do believe that if these people are being fed that they deserve applause from our media, then our people will clap [for Indians] too,” the celeb urged how the media guides the discourse.

According to Hassan, media must acknowledge its “big responsibility” as being the sole institution responsible for the free flow of information. He said, “This information flow is not bookish, it doesn’t require extensive reading or visits to a library, you don’t have to search for anything. The information is flowing out freely.”

For HSY, this awareness of how narratives are communicated and to what end is indispensable in safeguarding the future and hope of the masses. “Now in that stream of information, if we are not celebrating our people, if we are not talking about our achievements. If we are not merely discussing our problems but also trying to find solutions. If we keep perpetuating fear and confusion, saying that we are not good, then what will people think?”

“I am not calling out all media entities. I understand how important content creation is, whatever I am today is because of media but I am a vocal person who can talk about these things, can discuss with the relevant people,” he added.

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