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Belly dancing at Miss Pakistan contest

From Bollywood music to belly dancing, the fourth annual Miss Pakistan World pageant in Canada had it all.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 11:53 IST

From Bollywood music to belly dancing to a show of beauty and brains, the fourth annual Miss Pakistan World pageant here had it all.

Held at the Sagan Convention Centre here, the pageant went on smoothly this time - contrary to last year's upheaval within the conservative community and its religious circle.

Sehr Mahmood, 25, of North York claimed the title. Toronto's Shaifa Chandani, 23, and Gina Noureen Khan, 19, of Mississauga were adjudged the first and second runners-up, respectively. Khan also won the Miss Congeniality title.

Twelve finalists were chosen from about 50 applicants for the final act, which lasted four hours.

All the finalists resorted to Bollywood and belly dance to the rhythm of techno music - except one, who performed a classical dance - for the talent segment.

Nearly 650 guests congregated to witness the crowning of the 2006 queen, according to Sonia Ahmed, organiser of the event.

Though the title is dubbed as a "world pageant", this year's competitors belonged to North America -- predominantly from the greater Toronto area (GTA) and two of the finalists were from the US.

Unlike last year, there was little controversy or opposition from conservative members of the community, she added.

"Controversy will always be there ... but this year we haven't received any direct threats..." Ahmed who is the founder and president of Miss Canada Pakistan, organiser of the pageant, told the agency.

One Pakistani guest at the event said he enjoyed the pageant from display of talents to intelligent responses to judges' questions by the participants.

As Miss Pakistan World, Mahmood won a round trip to New York, a Citizen-Eco Drive watch embedded with Swarovski crystals, a diamond ring, photo shoots, and several other gift items.

She will also represent an international pageant representing Pakistan, all expenses met by Miss Canada Pakistan.