Islamabad, Sept. 7 (Reuters): Pakistani authorities are investigating how a Pakistani-born American woman entered a “Miss Bikini” pageant in China as a representative of predominantly Muslim, conservative Pakistan.
Houston-based Mariyah Moten, 22, took part in the pageant in the Chinese resort of Beihai on August 28. She won a “Best in Media” title, for being the most photographed and interviewed contestant, according to media reports.
A government official said Moten did not have permission to represent Pakistan, where many women only go out in public covered in a veil. The country does not hold beauty contests.
“We have asked our missions in Washington and Beijing to investigate this because it is against our policy, culture and religion,” senior culture ministry official Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry said today, referring to Moten’s participation.
“She is an American passport holder. She is an American national of Pakistani origin, so how did she get entry as a Pakistani'” he asked. Moten, a student of hotel management at the University of Houston, was born and brought up in the Pakistani city of Karachi, news reports said. She moved to the US with her family eight years ago.
Chaudhry said Pakistan might take the issue up with China, depending on the result of the investigation.
He also said the government might withdraw from Moten special privileges offered to people of Pakistani descent such as visa-free travel to Pakistan.