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21 Mar

“Kill corruption, not dogs!” – Nida Butt

Nida Butt

We recently saw celebrities such as Anoushey Ashraf, Zhalay Sarhadi, Mansha Pasha and Sahir Lodhi, sharing videos online, urging their fans and followers to join Nida Butt in a protest outside Press Club against the dog culling campaign that is regularly carried out in Karachi. Therefore, being dog lovers ourself, we headed to the protest to hear Nida’s stance on the issue.

Protesters stood in the sweltering Karachi heat, holding signs and chanting loudly. Amid the angry crowd, Nida Butt could be seen giving interviews to various reporters, discussing the agenda of the protestors and explaining why they were fighting against the dog culling campaign.

We asked Nida her motivation behind the protest, “For a really long time, we’ve been watching these videos and hearing news regarding this inhumane culling of dogs,” she said. “They’re given poison, they’re killed with cheap bullets and for hours and hours, these dogs are suffering and they’re dying on the streets. That’s honestly what got me riled up. I’m a huge animal lover, I really believe in humanity towards animals. The time had finally come where I thought that we needed to do something. I reached out to people on Facebook and the results have just been phenomenal, they’ve really shown support.”

Also present at the protest was actor Faris Khalid, a fresh face in our film industry. Faris is gearing up for the release of Chalay Thay Saath as well as another big film that he cannot yet reveal. “I usually don’t get out of the house but this is something I really want to support,” he spoke to Something Haute. “Cruelty to animals is just intolerable. If we can tolerate people, why can’t we tolerate stray animals? We should have a support system to take care of these animals to get them vaccinated, perhaps get them neutered. But killing them in this inhumane manner is unacceptable and I’m here to support this movement.”

Butt has concrete, practical ways of controlling this epidemic.

“We have a very simple proposal: we’re asking CBC, KMC and KBC to work in collaboration with civil society and the animal NGO’s and welfare organizations,” she protested. “We have a couple of vets on board who have agreed to spray and neuter either for free or very, very cheap. All we want these guys to do is open their doors, have a dialogue with us. Next time they get a complaint from the residents saying dogs are a nuisance, call us. We will go with you, in your vans, we will help capture the animals, we will vaccinate them, spray and neuter them and then re-release them in safe dog zone areas. It’s a simple solution. The killing needs to stop.”

The real reason this problem persists in Pakistan, however, is due to the attitudes and mindsets of people towards dogs and other animals. Animal cruelty is rampant in our country, where even children are seen kicking, hitting or chasing stray animals on the streets. Other times, stories of animal cruelty are much more horrific.

“That is a huge problem in Pakistan and thank you for bringing that up. I feel that protests like these are the first step towards creating education and awareness. In the Quran, the dog is mentioned 5 times. Not once does it say in the Quran that the dogs are dirty or that they should be killed mercilessly. Inshallah with such a great turnout today, we will be starting an awareness campaign but that’s something we will start working on from next week. We won’t give up. ”

We asked Nida when they will end the protest, to which she informed us that the protest will continue for two hours but this movement will not die down so soon.

“We need to send a message to our future generations,” she concluded. “What are we teaching our kids? If today, they can throw stones and poison a helpless animal, tomorrow those same people, when they grow up, will go out and be shooting our own people. There is a message of humanity that must transcend these social and cultural taboos.”

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Manal Faheem Khan

The author is Contributing Editor at Something Haute who has studied film and journalism from SZABIST. Will be found at the gym if not in the office.