Celebrity rag Hello! is to launch a Pakistan edition next month in a bid to deflect the world’s attention from the constant news stream featuring corrupt politicians, bent cricketers, assassinations and Islamic fundamentalists.
The magazine – renowned for its’ heavily airbrushed photos of major and minor celebrities and mundane events where the only prerequisite for entry is the ability to plant an endless stream of air kisses – will cover all areas of lifestyle and entertainment, from cuisine, culture, arts and fashion.
The new publication’s chief executive officer and publisher Zahraa Saifullah said Hello! Pakistan will be ‘socially responsible’ and be mindful of the conservative values that underpin Pakistani society.
Consulting editor Wajahat Khan told reporters: "The idea is not to celebrate the celebrity but to discover more (in Pakistan)."
He dismissed suggestions the magazine could have a problem with religious or radical groups although one of the stand-out questions at the press launch was whether the publishers “had obtained a No Objection letter from the radical Jama’at at-e-Islami group?”
"We don't want to encroach upon the rights of anybody. We have to remain within the parameters of Pakistan,'' Khan said, adding that freedom of expression is allowed under the country's constitution.
Pakistani-Czech model and actress has been tentatively penned in to appear on the cover of the first issue of the magazine, featuring plenty of shoulder.
- Staff Reporter