The flood-hit Pakistan no longer needs to feel Godforsaken. Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, who is also the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, flew in to Islamabad yesterday to issue fresh appeal for relief efforts. With 20 million displaced due to the floods, Pakistan is trying to make sense of Angelina’s mission. “I was wondering if she’ll adopt any babies this time,” says Furhan Husain, a Karachi-based student. Jolie, who also visited Pak during the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, has six children — three of whom she adopted.
Given that Bollywood stars are bigger gods across the border than Hollywood actors, Pakistanis are noting the silence of Indian actors about the calamity. “I can’t expect the Bollywood stars to say much,” says Karachi-based novelist Bina Shah. “India offered money and Pakistan refused to take it directly, so what can the stars do? Frankly, I don’t expect Bollywood hunks and starlets to deliver profound messages.”
Incidentally, Angie has also made a video appealing to others to donate towards relief for the country. “It’s incredibly brave of her to come here,” says Jawad Zakaria, a Lahore-based photographer. “I’m sure she’s been told by many that Pakistan isn’t exactly the safest place for foreigners.”
While hoping that Angelina’s mission will inspire people from different nationalities to come in aid of Pakistan, Karachi-based TV host Nawazish Ali also comes down heavily on film star Veena Malik. “It is regrettable that while most Pakistanis are forgetting their differences to get together to help the flood-afflicted people, stars like Veena Malik are wasting their time in settling personal scores in international media,” says Ali.