“Of hidden agendas, politics and fashion”

A person’s appearance can offer clues as to their political affiliations, or so has been said throughout time immemorial.

There are above 850,000 companies of fashion in Europe alone, with the industry comprising of more than 5 million people in total and making up almost 3% of the European Union’s GDP. What we don’t understand is that the fashion industry not only brings employment, tourism and glamour to a country’s economy, but a potential for creativity and energy as well.

A country’s image and reputation depend upon it’s fashion industry’s state.

But what else is being done here, without all the glitz and glamour of the industry-something which is hidden from the public eye and is not so pretty and shiny. Could it be a hidden mafia, a group of money-making ‘money-hungry’ elites who are secretly smuggling to and fro with the help of these fashionistas?

Judging ones fashionable appearance is frowned upon but is highly effective if we study the relationship between fashion and its political counter parts.

But what people don’t understand is that clothing is used to persuade people and convey certain thoughts and ideas. If we go beneath the surface of clothing, the relationship between fashion and politics in our society is something we cannot deny.

A book’s cover is designed to sell the product with the use of colors and graphics to identify the product with its content, attracting it to its demographic.

However, beneath all these beautiful appearances, lie very ugly inners of the dark, corruption that resides inside these so-called celebrities. While some may argue that they are victims to this system and naïve enough to not realize they are being used, a majority of the fashion sector would argue that it is upto the alleged victim to choose between what’s right and wrong.

Speaking on the case of Ayyan Ali’s money laundering, I can safely say with utmost confidence that this is not the first time it has happened. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was also caught laundering money outside Pakistan a few years back, and it is important to mention here that had he been a beautiful celebrity (excuse the comparison), he would’ve also made the news for long.

Ayyan Ali is not an average model, she is what we call Pakistan’s ‘supermodel’. Ayyan’s brief history that we know of, states that the model is currently 23 (obviously we know the truth) and that she has achieved a lot in her short span of time in the industry. Starting out as a model to become a singer later on, she has been ‘best female emerging model’, ‘Calvin Klein’s beauty of the year 2010’, has had 4 nominees as the best model in lux style awards consecutively and has even been a brand ambassador to sunsilk, ufone, Samsung, Honda and Mcdonalds.

Ayyan had announced to join the Miss Universe Pegeant in 2014 as well, however, she vanished from the scene for quite a while and was nowhere to be seen, only to appear in a high-profile music video later with the title ‘Makin Dollars’, her first step into the music industry, which met with a lot of criticism and appreciation at the same time.

While we were all shocked to see her impersonating a Desi Mariah Carey in the song, one fails to realize how did she move to Europe and how did she make so many ‘dollas’? How was it that she suddenly transformed into one of the highest paid celebrities in the industry, where millions have been dying to make their mark and earn that sum of money since years?

On 14th March, 2015, shortly after two music videos and her move to Europe, (and a lot of international trips might I add), Ayyan was arrested for laundering money into UAE, through a trip to Dubai which was due to take place on an Emirates flight.

Ayyan was arrested at Benazir International Airport, because she had been travelling with ‘undeclared’ money in her carry-on luggage. There are a lot of speculations as to what had to happen to the money: some say that she was about to hand over the money to her brother who was waiting for her outside the airport, some say that she did not know about the laws for carrying more than 100,000 in one go. Whatever the situation is, we all know for sure one thing: this case has some serious backing to it.

Ayyan’s phone records are inaccessible, her phone has been ‘blocked’. How is it even possible that Investigation teams are being unable to find even a single clue as to whom she has been laundering this money with or for? All records have been erased. This is yet another clue to how ‘powerful’ her backing is.

On March 16th, Ayyan gave an excuse of ‘selling property to Khalid Malik’, which was later dismissed and she was put into jail after a medical test. Khalid malik was allegedly travelling on same flight with Ayyan, claims the CCTV footage which was later taken into custody after the entire event.

However, both brothers Rehman Malik (ex minister) and Khalid Malik have said that they did not have any links with Ayyan, and they are not a part of this.

Ayyan’s father had come to her rescue and claimed that this ‘propaganda’ was trying to prove her daughter as a villain and a smuggler, which she isn’t. By the end of March, her father was shot and injured by unknown gunmen on the outskirts of Rawalpindi.

So who is it who is behind all these suspicious acts which go unnoticed in the media? Why aren’t the investigation teams being able to find any clues, and why is Ayyan so adamant that she will come out of jail easily? The notorious girl who once donned a burka to enter a court for her hearing, was seen with her hair let down and no burka look the last time she faced the media.

We ask the nation: how come the confidence?

Deputy customs collectors Naveed Bugvi and Zeba Azhar had found the money in her bag. The confident Ayyan Ali had known that she would get away with the alleged smuggle, then why was she stopped? Was it a plan gone wrong? Was it a bid to get her trapped? Was she told that she wouldn’t be stopped and later some honest employees sincere to their jobs refused to comply with the big ups? We wonder what the REAL case is.

However, on March 17, jail authorities claimed that Ayyan was a category B inmate, at Adiala Jail; notorious for housing high profile criminals and terrorists.

So Ayyan enjoys a charpoi, food and water from outside, and has relatives, lawyers, and family meeting her as if nothing’s wrong. A helper has been provided to clean up for the ‘Making dollars to launderin’ dollars’ celeb. It has been heard that no internet , television or phone has been provided to her, as there are jammers outside the jail premises.

Adiala jail super-intendent Malik Mushtaq has declared that Ayyan is not enjoying any ‘special priveleges’ inside the jail, however, we beg to differ.

Customs investigation/prosecution branch inspector Saleem has stated that the supermodel has not paid tax to the government of Pakistan, and can therefore also be evicted for tax evasion.

Latest news tells us that Ayyan had a personal assistant with her at the time of her laundering, an individual associated with a ‘former president’. He was later denied his entry pass (which got him into all airports in Pakistan) for facilitating her during the crime.

Ayyan has been convicted under the Criminal Act ……. And if convicted of smuggling money, she will have to pay a heavy fine and end up serving 14 years in jail.

For starters, they even lie about basic things such as their ages, how in the world would these people be telling us the truth once caught laundering?

Her lawyer Sardar Ishaq states that living with 10 other female prisoners who have been charged for serious crimes, this is a ‘bad influence’ on Ayyan and that this could have psychological effects on her. We beg to differ.

However, we see that the fashion industry is silent on the issue, we are curious to know why? Apart from Frieha Altaf, Maheen Khan and a few other ‘jealous’ models might I add, nobody seems to be making a remark, perhaps scared for their own selves, so that their own secrets aren’t out in the open if they speak against someone else.

Ayyan has submitted a transaction statement of her property deal, and stated that she had gotten the money from a politically well connected business man. In the latest reports, Ayyan has confirmed herself that she has been laundering money for these ‘secret people’ since 2011, which is the answer to why she was absent from the fashion scene for quite a while.

FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) officials fear that the case against the supermodel may be thrown out as it is being extended, and mainly due to technicalities involved.

Customs investigation team have failed to submit charge sheet in court, and a member of the investigations, Yousaf Mughal, claims that Ayyan does not comply with them and jail officials also make him wait outside for hours. One wonders, why the delays and this easy attitude, how is it that they are being treated the way a launderer is treated and Ayyan enjoys the priveleges of an investigator?

So while Ayyan is enjoying her ‘stay’ at her resort house ‘Adiala Jail’, she has time to prove herself innocent. Ayyan even stated to media personnel that once out of jail, she will make a movie of her life at Adiala and how prisoners are treated there. Wow, what confidence, we should say.

Given the latest reports on her ‘makeovers’ and how much ‘fun’ she is having with jailers and all, it won’t be surprising if she comes out of jail soon, as #FreeAyyan is already trending on social media. We are to see what becomes of the case soon, but one thing is for sure: there is no justice, and no standards for people when it comes to making billions of money (unlawfully) and when it is a case of a beautiful woman (what I have learnt in these few months).

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