Other occasions when Pakistanis wore their national dress abroad and no one died

As Pakistan takes to the field for its first Cricket World Cup match today, we still have the Sarfaraz Ahmed shalwar kameez controversy on our minds.

Why were some people sooo offended by his choice to wear the Pakistani national dress at his Buckingham Palace meeting with Queen Elizabeth II?

The Pakistan cricket captain has addressed the hullabulloo, saying that he is proud of his decision: “The shalwar kameez is our national dress and I got instructions from the board to do all these things so I tried to promote our national dress. I felt very proud that the other captains were wearing suits but I was wearing national dress.”

But really, he shouldn’t have to explain himself.

After all, the shalwar kameez has been spotted at international events many times before…

PM Imran Khan rocks desi clothes on all his state visits

PM Imran Khan’s wardrobe for all official business is shalwar kameez — whether he’s in China, Malaysia or Turkey!

PM Imran Khan with Turkish premier Erdogan during his state visit in January this year
PM Imran Khan with Turkish premier Erdogan during his state visit in January this year

Malala’s made shalwar kameez her signature look

Malala’s no different. Her signature look for all major appearances — the UN, the Nobel prize ceremony or even just late night TV — is her shalwar kameez-dupatta combo.

Malala at her 2015 interview on The Ellen Show
Malala at her 2015 interview on The Ellen Show

Maleeha Lodhi loves her shalwar kameezes

Pakistan’s Ambassador at the UN has also long made shalwar kameez her outfit of choice. Even NYT notes that she is “unfailingly attired” in our national dress.

Maleeha Lodhi at the UN
Maleeha Lodhi at the UN

Benazir Bhutto was also a fan

Even while she lived in exile in London, BB was frequently spotted in shalwar kameez.

Benazir signing a charter of democracy with Nawaz Sharif in London in 2006
Benazir signing a charter of democracy with Nawaz Sharif in London in 2006

Mahira Khan showed off her sari game at Cannes

Mahira wore a Mehreen & Menahel sari to Cannes last year, which was considered as one of her best looks at the film fest!

Mahira at Cannes 2018
Mahira at Cannes 2018

Sharmeen Obaid puts a fusion twist to shalwar kameez at the Oscars

Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has more often than not graced red carpets abroad in contemporary but traditional desi attire; we’re talking Bunto Kazmi, Sana Safinaz, Sania Maskatiya —the works. Even her mother who was her date to the Academy Awards wore a long embroidered gown instead of a boring dress.

Sharmeen at the Oscars 2012 and 2016
Sharmeen at the Oscars 2012 and 2016

Mawra Hocane made chooridar pajamas cool again at Pakistan Film Festival New York

Mawra wore a simple yet striking crimson Muse Luxe outfit: a short peplum kameez with chooridar pyjama.

Mawra with Maleeha Lodhi at the film fest celebrating Pakistani cinema in NY
Mawra with Maleeha Lodhi at the film fest celebrating Pakistani cinema in NY

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