Lahore: The year 2022 marked a significant turning point in Pakistan's pageantry scene with the introduction of the Miss Pakistan Universal pageant. This initiative, born amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed to diversify the titles available for recognizing the talents of women in Pakistan, complementing the longstanding Miss Pakistan World pageant.
Established in 2002 in Ottawa, Canada, later relocating to Toronto, and eventually finding its home in Lahore, Miss Pakistan World has earned the distinction of being the country's longest-running pageant. The birth of Miss Pakistan Universal was a response to the increasing demand for opportunities in international pageants, recognizing that a single title could no longer accommodate the growing pool of talent. Alongside Miss Pakistan Universal, additional titles such as Miss Pakistan Global, Mrs. Pakistan Universal, and Ms. Pakistan Universe were introduced, expanding Pakistan's pageantry landscape beyond the realms of Miss Pakistan World, Mrs. Pakistan World, and Ms. Pakistan World.
The Miss Pakistan Universal pageant has since become an annual fixture in Lahore, Pakistan. The inaugural Miss Pakistan Universal title was claimed by Dr. Shafaq Akhtar from Lahore in 2022, followed by the crowning of Dr. Kapotaqkhy Chanchala from Karachi in 2023.
These titleholders have embarked on journeys representing Pakistan in various international pageants, including Miss World Tourism in Sri Lanka, Miss Elite in Egypt, Miss Planet in Cambodia, Miss Aura International in Turkey, and Miss Earth in Vietnam.
This expansion not only enriches Pakistan's presence on the global pageantry stage but also offers talented individuals more opportunities to shine internationally.
Sonia Ahmed, President of both Miss Pakistan World and Miss Pakistan Universal, stressed the importance of diversifying titles within Pakistan's pageant industry. She highlighted that the international pageant arena hosts over 30 competitions annually, ranging from smaller-scale to larger-scale events, with the prestige often linked to the number of participating countries.
Sonia Ahmed outlined their strategy for preparing winners to excel on the international stage, beginning with participation in smaller-scale pageants and gradually progressing to larger ones. This systematic approach equips contestants with valuable experience and eligibility for prominent international pageants. While some candidates receive guidance from pageant coaches, Sonia Ahmed acknowledged that Pakistan's pageant culture is still evolving, making this progressive approach particularly effective.
She underscored the significance of a comprehensive understanding of pageantry, encompassing theoretical knowledge and practical experience gained during live competitions, as the foundation of their training methodology.
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