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How ‘toxic’ is prank culture in Pakistan?

May 6 , 2019

Photo: Frank Lab TV/Youtube

Prank culture is becoming more common across the globe. Young people think of creative ways to annoy people just so they can film their responses and Pakistan is catching on to this trend too. 

Many times, however, the prank doesn’t go as planned. Two pranksters, Urfi Shaikh and Mushtaq Naqvi, got in trouble with a man who got angry at their prank. Naqvi went up to a man and blew a horn in his ear. He got a tight slap in response. The man has been identified as Javed.

Related: Don’t fall for this new prank on Twitter

Javed said that he reacted because it happened so suddenly. “What if I were suffering from some health problem? This just wrong,” he said told SAMAA TV on its show Naya Din.

“Sometimes people take their pranks too far. Look at the way some people misbehave with women in universities and colleges and then they call it a “prank”. Our religion doesn’t allow this,” he said.

Javed, however, accepted that he shouldn’t have slapped Naqvi. “When I found out later on, I took him out for tea.”

Shaikh and Naqvi explained that they are prepared for a harsh reaction from the people they are playing pranks on. “We have suffered a lot of problems in the past too,” said Shaikh.

“We are usually prepared but we didn’t think someone would slap us,” said Naqvi. “We expect something from people when we prank them but we weren’t ready for this,” he added.

Related: Prank leads to the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in Lahore

We don’t mean any harm with our pranks, said Shaikh. “We just want to entertain people.” He remarked that the two always apologise to people they may have offended in the process of filming their jokes.

Shaikh and Naqvi run a YouTube channel by the name of Frank Lab TV. They have 37,000 followers.

Sometimes, the pranks go too far and pranksters end up paying the price. On December 26, 2018 a young man was shot dead in Lahore after a fight erupted following a prank. The deceased, Rana Zuhair, was scaring people in a park near Lytton Road. The prank didn’t go as planned and he got into a fight with a family following which unidentified men opened fire on Zuhair.

On the other hand, the emerging popularity of prank videos sometimes gives ground for pranksters to walk away scot-free. But pranks should not give people licenses to harass or bully anyone.

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One Comment

  1. Fahad   May 6, 2019 10:20 am/ Reply

    It seems they have got no better things to do. People are already stressed and they are scaring them just for others to laugh on them. What a shame.


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