Erica Robin, hailing from Karachi, was selected as Miss Universe Pakistan from a group of five finalists during the inaugural competition held in the Maldives.
She is now preparing to compete in the Miss Universe finals scheduled to take place in El Salvador in November this year.
This moment is of historic significance as it marks the first time in the 72-year history of the Miss Universe beauty pageant that Pakistan has chosen a representative for the competition.
During the selection process, when Erica was asked what one thing she wanted to do for her country, she responded,
I would want to change this mindset that Pakistan is a backward country.
However, this significant milestone hasn’t been without controversy. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami party expressed his disapproval, calling it “shameful.”
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar ordered Pakistan’s intelligence agency to investigate the organizers of the Miss Universe Pakistan pageant, questioning how they held the competition without the government’s approval.
The decision was prompted by an outpouring of online criticism and concerns that Erica was representing a country that may not want such representation.
Kakar referred to the staging of the Maldives pageant as a “shameful act” and an “insult and exploitation of women of Pakistan.”
In the midst of this controversy, Erica Robin is gearing up to represent Pakistan on the Miss Universe stage, aiming to counter stereotypes about her country.
Pakistan has limited exposure to beauty pageants due to its Muslim-majority status.
In an interview with BBC, Erica expressed her pride in representing Pakistan but also addressed the backlash, saying,
I think it is this idea that I would be parading in a swimsuit in a room full of men.
Erica, a graduate of St. Patrick’s High School and Government College of Commerce and Economics, began her professional modeling career in January 2020.