Muslim fury after bikini model claimed to be Pakistan's entry

Last updated at 19:17 07 September 2006

A prize winning bikini contest model who claimed she was the Pakistani representative has sparked outrage in the predominantly muslim country.

Stunning Mariyah Moten, 22, won the 'Best in Media' title - for being the most photographed and interviewed contestant - at the pageant in the Chinese resort of Beihai.

But furious Pakistani authorities say she did not have permission to represent the country, where many women only go out in public covered in a veil.

They are now threatening the model, who grew up in Pakistan but holds a US passport after she moved there eight years ago, with restrictions on entering her homeland.

"We have asked our missions in Washington and Beijing to investigate this because it is against our policy, culture and religion," senior Culture Ministry official Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry said.

"She is an American passport holder. She is an American national of Pakistani origin, so how did she get entry as a Pakistani?"

Moten, a student of hotel management at the University of Houston, was born and brought up in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

Mr Chaudhry said Pakistan - which does not hold beauty contests - might take the issue up with China, depending on the result of the investigation.

He also said the government might withdraw from Moten special privileges offered to people of Pakistani descent such as visa-free travel to Pakistan.


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below?


I appreciate Mariyah, who won the 'Best in Media' contest in the China. It's nice to see a Pakistani origin woman in a controversial competition and taking a lead role. I hope that other women too will follow Mariyah. Keep it up Mariyah you are great!

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Sure, Mrs. Pakistan is pleasant to look at. However, how can you not understand why a country who's culture and government is based on its religious beliefs would be angered by this and hold western culture in contempt for expoiting women in this way?

At one time it was UNDERSTOOD, because of religious beliefs both here and in England, that women should be modest. And you wonder why we are hated throughout the Middle East.

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Erm Lisa, I think Ess Gee was condemning Famian's ridiculous comment not endorsing it.

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