Viral video: A popular Pakistani social media figure with millions of followers is facing severe criticism after posing for a TikTok video of a forest fire. In 15 seconds video that has gone viral on the internet, TikToker Humaira Asghar can be seen walking playfully in a gown in front of a burning hillside with the caption: "Fire erupts wherever I am."
The short clip which received backlash has since been taken down. Asghar said in a statement released by an assistant that she did not start the fire and there was "no harm in making videos".
"She should have been holding a bucket of water to extinguish the fire instead of glamorising it," says Rina Saeed Khan Satti, an environmental activist and chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, as quoted by Daily Pakistan.
After this video of forest fire emerged, people on the internet were visibly fuming over the violation of environmental norms. "Sheer ignorance and madness," said one comment under Asghar's video on TikTok. A user on Twitter said, "One can at least block her on social media platforms, if the authorities don't do anything." Another person said, "Government should make sure that culprits are punished and the TikToker along with the brand should be penalised."
Pakistan is the eighth-most vulnerable country to extreme weather caused by climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index. Experts say there is ignorance among the Pakistani population about environmental issues. Forest fires are common from April to July due to high temperatures and slash-and-burn farming.