An exclusive chitchat with Ms. Pakistan World-Natasha Paracha

On May 26th Natasha Paracha was crowned the 6th Miss Pakistan world. The event brought young Pakistani women from around the world to compete for what could be considered the most controversial crown in the pageant world. The event focuses on beauty, talent and cultural strength while allowing these young women to feel a part of the mainstream instead of ostracized from the Western world. We caught up with the 23 year to discuss her experience and her ambitions for the year to follow.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I was born in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1984 and moved to the United States with my family. I graduated from U.C Berkeley with honours in Political Science and Business Administration. I am currently residing in New York City and work for the United Nations.

What made you enter the pageant have you been part of many more.

I entered Miss Pakistan World 2008 because I saw it as an opportunity to not only represents my country internationally, but as an opportunity to be a role model for young women

Describe the overall experience.

The experience I gained through Miss Pakistan World is something I will keep for a lifetime. I met positive and strong women. And I feel as though my experience is just beginning as I have a year to complete with the organization.

Do you reckon you are a true representation of a Pakistani girl?

I feel Pakistan is a nation of various persona and individuals. However, I hope to provide a platform for other women to also be leaders in society. I think it is important to have positive role models in our country, just like Benazir Bhutto and Asma Jahanger. I have always strived to be a positive influence in everything I chose to do.

What do you have to say to all the critics of the contest?

I feel as those where there is competition there will almost always be opposition. I hope that through my efforts this year, those who have hesitations about such ventures will keep an open mind as to the positive outcomes of pageants

How do you intend to use your title to the benefit of Pakistani Awam.

I hope to use my title to foster economic development, women’s rights and children’s issues in the country of Pakistan. I hope that with the help of international charities and Pakistanis living abroad, we can work towards common and urgent goals within our home country.

Would you consider modelling or becoming an actress?

I would consider modelling and acting as part of my other goals if the opportunities are tasteful and foster the ideals of women’s empowerment and touch upon critical issues facing the world today.
Tell us a bit more about your NGO and what have you achieved so far and how can people get involved.

What do you make of the previous Ms. Pakistan World controversy?

I would wish that people would focus on important issues and head towards the advancement of Pakistan. Time is of the essence and we have to promote Pakistan in a positive manner. I would like to take my year as Miss Pakistan World to do so.

Do you see the culture of Pageants taking off in Pakistan?

I feel that we need to represent our country at an international level and we are ready for that.

Describe Pakistani entertainment industry in three words.

Colourful, musical, playful

what according to you is the key to political stability in Pakistan.

The key to political stability in Pakistan would have to be education.

Any Heroes.
My heroes come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds:
My mother who has taught me to be a strong individual and always work towards greater goals. And my father who built his business from nothing and through his hard work and dedication has become well respected in the watch industry.
Hilary Clinton and Benazir Bhutto that have shaken foreign politics and empowered women for generations to come.
A young girl from Oakland, California that I use to mentor during college. Even though she struggled with issues and home and lack of resources, she cherished the smaller things in life and is grateful for all she has.

How do you cheer yourself up as we all know life is not always a beach?

How do I cheer myself up when life isn’t a beach? Well if I had everything handed to me on a silver platter, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Life is meant to be difficult and we have to overcome challenges-these hurdles shape our persona and what we set out to do in life.

What would you have liked to achieve in five years time.

In five years I hope to be able to advance in my career at the United Nations, work towards my efforts in Pakistan and be married with child or two. Hopefully that is all possible in 5 years time!