Maria Butt and Tahir Saeed
Maria Butt and Tahir Saeed Image Credit: Twitter

Popular Pakistan fashion designer Maria Butt, has posted a video defending herself and her husband regarding a recent police encounter the couple had after they sent a cook who is a coronavirus patient back to his village.

Recently a clip of Butt, popularly known by the same name as her label, Maria B, condemning her husband, Tahir Saeed’s arrest and asking Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for justice was shared online. Now, she has posted a 20-minute clip with her spouse ‘explaining’ the issue but just like the first video, social media users are not convinced.

According to reports by Pakistani news outlets, her husband had been taken into custody for sending his cook, who had tested positive for coronavirus, to his village in Vihari, Punjab without alerting the authorities.

The following day, Butt posted the video in which she cried and accused the “system” in Punjab for not doing their duties while calling upon Khan.

Soon after, social media users scrutinised her and called her out for “elite privilege”. Now, the latest video has only gotten the pair more criticism from netizens.

In the second clip, Saeed described the police encounter as “abuse and harassment” and called himself and his family, “responsible citizens of the country.”

“Suppose we were to test positive for COVID-19 which we haven’t – we both tested negative – are we criminals for it?” asked Butt, holding up a copy of her husband’s lab reports as proof.

However, both of them admitted that they sent the cook back home after discovering his status.

“My cook went to Vehari at a time when the pandemic had not hit Punjab and he came back on March 11. Around March 18, he complained of some symptoms, so I got Chughtai Lab to come over and run a test for him which came positive,” Butt said.

“Without any government directive, what do you think we could’ve done? Keep him locked with us?” she added.

Netizens asked why they decided to send cook off and also questioned why Saeed was let go by the police.

User @bilalfqi referenced Khan’s promises of turning Pakistan into a welfare state akin to Madinah: “Maria B thanks PM Imran Khan & army for intervening and having her husband released. Tahir Saaed was arrested for sending his cook, who had tested positive for coronavirus, to his native village. Is PM and army just for rich and punishments only for the poor. Is this ‘Riyasat-e-Madina’ [state of Madinah]?”

Actor Osman Khalid Butt, @aClockworkObi, asked the couple to be more “responsible”: “If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the absolute last thing one should do is send them out into society - if you're unsure of what step to take, contact the relevant authorities. We all have to play our part in flattening the curve - please let's all be responsible.”

Politician Jibran Nasir, @MJibranNasir, highlighted some rules that were set regarding COVID-19 in Pakistan: “Can the police be more polite in Pakistan? Of course but don't blame them for doing their job. For those who dont know it is crime under PPC 269 & 270 to either negligently or malignantly do acts which you know are likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life. #Corona”