Pakistan’s first Miss Universe contestant Erica Robin faces government probe and backlash

Pakistan Miss Universe contestant Erica Robin

Islamabad: Pakistan’s first-ever Miss Universe contestant, Erica Robin, has sparked controversy and outrage in her home country after she was crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2023 at a resort in Maldives on Thursday. The Pakistani government has ordered an investigation by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) into the matter, alleging that Erica Robin was selected without its approval and that the event violated the country’s cultural and religious norms.

According to reports, the event was organized by Eugene Publishing and Marketing, a business group based in Dubai, UAE, which had obtained the rights to represent Pakistan in the Miss Universe pageant. The company had received 200 applications from Pakistani women who wanted to participate in the contest and had selected Erica Robin as the winner after a series of rounds. The company had claimed that it did not need any permission from the Pakistani government to submit the name of Erica Robin as the Miss Universe contestant, as per the rules of the Miss Universe website.

However, the Pakistani government has challenged this claim and has accused the company of misrepresenting Pakistan and its people. The caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakkar has instructed the IB to probe the matter and find out who was behind the event and how it was conducted. The IB has submitted a report to the Prime Minister, stating that Eugene Publishing and Marketing had acted as the official representative of Pakistan for the Miss Universe pageant without any authorization from the government.

The event has also drawn criticism from various political and religious leaders in Pakistan, who have condemned Erica Robin’s participation in the Miss Universe contest as a shameful and un-Islamic act. Murtaza Solangi, a minister in the caretaker government, wrote on his Twitter account that only the government institutions can represent Pakistan and its government, and that no private entities or companies can make any decisions on their behalf. He demanded strict action against those responsible for this event. Similarly, Jamaat-e-Islami MP Mushtaq Ahmed Khan has asked the government to clarify its stand on this issue. He said that participating in the Miss Universe contest was an insult to Pakistani women and their dignity.

Pakistan Miss Universe contestant Erica Robin

Erica Robin, who is 24 years old and belongs to a Christian family in Karachi, has remained silent on the controversy. She started her modeling career in January 2020 after completing her graduation degree. She is now preparing to represent Pakistan in the Miss Universe 2023 competition, which will be held in San Salvador on November 18, 2023. She is expected to face stiff competition from other contestants from around the world, as well as opposition from her countrymen.