It was the most ambitious crossover in Pakistani internet history, ever. A celebrity singer and a Federal Minister battling over a movie song from 1969 and what followed was a vicious manifestation of Pakistani social media. Everyone was in on it and everyone was taking sides. So sit back, pop open a bag of popcorn and get ready for the complete breakdown on the battle of the year, from last night.
What started it was a tweet from Shireen, sharing her opinion about how she found the Coke Studio version of ‘Ko Ko Korina‘, sung by Ahad Raza Mir and Momina Mustehsan
Horrendous! Destroyed a great classic – why oh why did Coke Studio allow such a massacre of this classic song? https://t.co/Iq5gfCPYcr
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 21, 2018
And then Momina responded to it
To be fair to her, she had been seeing an intense backlash, brutal trolling, jokes and memes about how bad the cover was for most of the weekend and given her past struggles with fame and ability to take criticism, Shireen’s tweet may have just been a breaking point for her.
Apologies for hurting ur sentiments. It is ur right to judge us & express ur outrage,just like it was our right to exercise our #FreedomOfExpression. As our Minister of #HumanRights, u should appreciate @cokestudio for allowing us to express ourselves, esp if it was horrendous 🙂 https://t.co/OkYdSE0jCz
— Momina Mustehsan (@MominaMustehsan) October 22, 2018
Mrs. Mazari did not appreciate her office being called into question by Momina for a personal opinion
I gave my personal opinion which I am entitled to esp on a non pol issue having to do with music. To each his/her own! And why bring the ministry into it?! https://t.co/io9q0y6nAf
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 22, 2018
In response, Momina made the terrible choice of quoting Uncle Ben from Spiderman 🤦🏽♂️
Why, Momina? Of all the people in the world, Uncle Ben? Especially when you know how sensitive these Marvel fanbois are
As someone holding office, I’d expect you to be more responsible with how you express yourself on public platforms. We look up to you, ma’am, as citizens of this country. Uncle Ben from Spider-Man said “with great power comes great responsibility”. Don’t let us down #NayaPakistan https://t.co/Ghvw5tivkd
— Momina Mustehsan (@MominaMustehsan) October 22, 2018
Khair, what followed can only be termed a fiasco, with literally everyone tearing apart every single word said by Momina
can’t believe i seriously got put in the timeline where shireen mazari is roasting momina mustehsan whose comebacks are claiming she’s being cyberbullied and quoting uncle ben from spider-man
— shy fawkes ♈️ (@aloovibes) October 22, 2018
AB HUM MOMINA MUSTEHSAN AUR SHIREEN MAZARI KE TWITTER… BANTER KA MAZA LEIN GE? YE DIN AAGAYE HEIN??
— capitalist hero™ (@merabichrayaar) October 22, 2018
Shoutout to Shireen Mazari and Momina Mustehsan for collectively making my day
— WannabeJannati (@StuckInTheDunya) October 22, 2018
Momina vs Shireen Mazari..
Imaan vs Momina..
— Haris (@HasBeenWrong) October 22, 2018
For many, it was even surprising how a singer ended up uniting people from across the political spectrum behind Shireen Mazari
And that’s because the song was indeed terrible (and it wasn’t just because of Momina).
Would have never expected in a million years that Momina Mustehsan would be the person to make the majority of the Pakistani Twitterverse to side with Shireen Mazari.
— Kala Kawa (@kaalakawaa) October 22, 2018
Shireen’s daughter, the ever vocal Imaan Mazari, also came to her mother’s defence
You don't owe Mominah Mustehsan or anyone else explanations as to your personal opinions which you are, and always will be, free to express.
Pretty much everyone with ears has called the song garbage. Even she seems to acknowledge it. https://t.co/cNJCRr4i85
— ایمان زینب (@ImaanZHazir) October 22, 2018
And of course, ever the mansplainer, Wajbro AKA Wajahat S Khan, of the infamous Mahaaz TV show just had to tell the ladies to “calm down” because if he hadn’t how else would this feud end?
This is becoming a cat fight of epic and embarrassing proportions. Recommend @ShireenMazari1 and @MominaMustehsan, both fantastic people who have contributed brilliantly to their respective fields, take a time out. Now. https://t.co/FsgDyrfhuK
— WSK (@WajSKhan) October 22, 2018
Many a curious souls also wanted to know what MangoBaaz has to say about this feud and how it’ll come to Momina’s defence
— Adeel Amin (@adeelamin15) October 22, 2018
— Huma. (@hitbyreality) October 23, 2018
Waiting for MangoBaaz to write an article "How Minister for Human rights, Shireen Mazari cyber bullied Momina Mustehsan, and Momina was Savage all the time, Shireen Mazari deactivated her Twitter account." 🔥🔥
— Sir Saith Abdullah (@SaithAbdullah99) October 22, 2018
So let’s get into it, shall we?
First of all, the song was bad. There’s no two ways about it. But it wasn’t just because of Momina. Ahad Raza Mir was equally responsible for his more-than-terrible vocals but the primary responsibility lies on Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza for choosing to do the cover, in the first place.
The original from the movie Armaan in 1969 has become a classic with many amateur music teachers making this classic a permanent fixture in everyone’s minds by singing it during every random “musical evening” so people have developed an association with it. There are memories attached to such classics and doing a cover for something like this is always going be tricky. Therefore, it was not an advisable choice to change up the song too much.
Now, about all the talk about cyber bullying that people are saying Momina claimed is happening against her
She says she didn’t claim she was being cyber bullied by Shireen Mazari. However what she did say to Shireen was that “[i]n a time when we’re trying to curb cyber-bullying and hate speech, please don’t fuel it further”. So technically while she did not say Shireen was bullying her she did say Shireen was possibly fueling it. Potato, potato?
While Shireen only shared her personal opinion on a song – an opinion that didn’t have anything to do with her office – her Twitter is used to share all kinds of opinions. To separate her personal from her professional is as difficult as claiming Donald Trump’s Twitter is his personal space and not something that holds weight because of the position he holds.
In conclusion, Shireen did not bully Momina in her first tweet because she only shared her personal opinion about Coke Studio. Momina should not have responded to her but after Momina responded what followed was the most severe form of cyber bullying against her. For Pakistanis to do that is completely uncalled for.
Meanwhile, Ahad Raza Mir is doing this
— Husky (@Vancopmysin) October 22, 2018