Maria Butt
Maria Butt Image Credit: Twitter

A video of Pakistani fashion designer Maria Butt, popularly known by the same name as her label, Maria B, condemning her husband’s arrest and asking Imran Khan for justice is being shared online. But netizens seem unconvinced.

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

According to the video posted by Butt, her house was raided in the middle of the night by police officials who arrested her husband, Tahir Saeed, who is also the owner of the brand, without letting them call a lawyer.

In the clip, Butt is heard saying: “This is an appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan: Last night my house was raided by police men as if I was the biggest drug mafia don in Lahore, with guns. They took away my husband and they told him that there’s an FIR registered against him and arrested him without a lawyer. They didn’t even wait for the lawyer to come, at 12:30am in the night. Nobody was up, we tried calling so many people but nobody was up.”

However, she did not mention the reason behind the arrest or mention the cook in the clip.

She said that police officers called her and her husband “culprits”. She also questioned why they had to endure such treatment when her own family was in danger of catching the coronavirus.

“They did this in the middle of the night, why? And the way they were rude to us, they wouldn’t listen and they kept calling us the culprits. Why? We are the ones who are suffering, we’re the ones whose tests are coming out positive anytime now – my entire family. And we are the one who are the culprits? And we are here to be arrested? Is this the kind of system we have in Punjab?” she said.

According to the Lahore police sources, Saeed was arrested by the Nishtar colony Police for allegedly sending his infected cook away, amidst the pandemic, reported The Express Tribune, a newspaper in Pakistan.

Saeed reportedly conducted the COVID19 test for his cook Omer Farooq, from a private laboratory and the test came out positive. Saeed, instead of informing the concerned authorities, sent Farooq to his village in a bus, The Express Tribune reported.

Farooq has been taken into police custody, according to the news report.

Netizens react

Maria B soon started trending on Twitter in Pakistan and thousands of posts about the issue rolled in. Largely, tweeps were not convinced of Butt’s stance and slammed the couple for allegedly not following proper protocol regarding known a coronavirus patient. Many took the opportunity to talk about “elite class privilege” in the country.

User @Jinnah_Club wrote: “This family is unwilling to self-quarantine, not giving up elite parties, their cook was positive, instead of informing authorities they sent him to village in a bus. Still they are not culprit but authorities are... She is Maria B!”

Tweep @shayandahalf posted: “If the Maria B story is true, then all it proves is that the rich in Pakistan feel no responsibility for individuals, society or country. Only themselves.”

User @BhittaniKhannnn tweeted: “I love how Maria B thinks that she can turn on the camera and tell the PM during a pandemic to care about her reckless husband who sends COVID-19 positive patients on bus rides. Elite class Privilege in Pakistan knows no bounds. Some minister will get him released.”