As a catastrophic heatwave causes widespread agony, social media star Humaira Asghar, who has millions of followers, is experiencing backlash after posing for a TikTok video by a forest fire.
“Fire erupts wherever I am,” Humaira Asghar captioned a video of herself strolling about in a silver ball gown in front of a burning hillside.
It comes after a man was caught earlier this month in Abbottabad, Pakistan, for deliberately igniting a forest fire as a backdrop for a video.
Temperatures in parts of Pakistan have recently reached 51 degrees Celsius, leaving the poor and vulnerable fighting to stay cool in the impoverished country.
Asghar, who has over 11 million TikTok followers, maintained she did not set the fire and that there was “no harm in filming videos” in a statement provided by an aide.
The video has since been removed.
Instead of glamorizing the fire, she should have been holding a bucket of water to put it out,” Rina Saeed Khan Satti, an environmental activist and chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, told AFP.
According to the group, at least one additional fire was ignited this week in the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital for a social media film.
“The message these movies portray is far too dangerous, and it must be contained,” Satti said.
Asghar’s actions were described as “sheer ignorance and craziness” in a TikTok comment.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index compiled by NGO German watch, Pakistan is the ninth most vulnerable country to extreme weather induced by climate change.
However, specialists claim that the general public is unaware of environmental hazards.
Forest fires are common from mid-April to the end of July, and are triggered by hot weather, lightning, and slash-and-burn farming.
Young people in Pakistan use TikTok extensively, and videos frequently receive hundreds of thousands of likes.
Statement on TikTok
“Any content that promotes harmful or unlawful action would be a violation of our Community Guidelines and is not allowed on our site,” TikTok, the video-sharing company, said in response to the video. Content depicting harmful or illegal behaviors is either removed, limited, or labelled. We remain committed to user safety, and we encourage everyone to be cautious and responsible in their actions, whether online or offline.”