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RIP Fauzia Wahab

LUBP editors are extremely saddened to learn about the untimely death of Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Fauzia Wahab. Through this post, we wish to convey our sincerest condolences to her family and millions of fans and supporters within and outside Pakistan.

As a mother, self made individual, legislator, rights activist and PPP worker, she leaves behind a rich legacy.

As a senior PPP leader, there were few who could match up to Fauzia Wahab in terms of loyalty, courage, integrity and presence of mind. She was always willing to engage with even the harshest critics of the PPP and what impressed many people was not just her intelligence but her graciousness in accepting the faults and shortcomings. This is not a common tendency in Pakistan’s political circles and such maturity and confidence endears even the harshest critics.

It is a suitable time to acknowledge that Ms. Wahab offered unconditional support to LUBP without affecting our editorial independence, and also provided us with constructive feedback from time to time. We at LUBP were never pressurized by Ms. Wahab whilst being critical of the PPP. We were never asked to trumpet her horn. Fauzia bibi was always about issues and principles and her loss is a big one. We stand by her family in these trying times.

Not many people know that Fauzia Wahab’s great grandfather is Imdadullah Muhajar Makki, the famous gentleman who launched the mutiny from Meerut and was a founding father of the Darululoom Deoband. In the Darululoom Karachi, the main street is called ‘Shara e Imdadullah’.

However, as Nadeem Paracha explains in his excellent write up in Dawn (The Laughing Warrior), despite her religious background, Fauzia refused to be a part of rigth-wing parties (e.g. JI, JUP), and as a graduate student at the University of Karachi made her way into politics as a progressive student leader and by campaigning for human rights.

She was one of very few persons in Pakistani politics and mainstream media who maintained a fine balance between her progressive ideals and a modest lifestyle, something which is also evident in the way she raised her children.

She held many key positions in the PPP and was a trusted aide of the martyred leader of the party, Benazir Bhutto.

She was a steadfast loyalist who supported and defended the PPP and braved difficult situations. In particular, her services as party’s Information Secretary and for human rights in the country can never be forgotten.

She died while fighting to strengthen the democracy and democratic institutions.

Fauzia Wahab, 56, had undergone a gallbladder surgery at a local hospital but suffered serious post-operative complications, which proved fatal for the veteran politician.

Her funeral prayer will be offered at Masjid Mubarak in Defence Phase-4, Sea View, Karachi after Zohar prayers on Monday.

We pray for her soul to rest in eternal peace.

mline ke nahin nayab hain hum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6TcoEyOKo4

Mohtarma Fauzia Wahab laid to rest

http://youtu.be/bhlZwM2DcSQ

Last Picture of Late PPP MNA Fauzia Wahab after Capital Talk on Port Grand Karachi -May 24th 2012 (courtesy: Hamid Mir)

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • She was progressive and modest at the same time. Not many women and men possess this feature.

    Rest in peace, Madam

  • NFP’s column

    The laughing warrior
    Nadeem F. Paracha

    Born in 1956, Fauzia Wahab was enjoying a fiery career as a passionate human rights worker and one of the most prominent voices of reason in the often chaotic, judgmental and fiercely patriarchal world of Pakistani politics and sociology, when her life was cut short on June 17, 2012.

    Belonging to Pakistan’s largest political outfit, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Fauzia’s fame was nothing like that of former PPP Chairperson, late Benazir Bhutto, and nor was she known so well outside of Pakistan like the country’s other famous women activists and democrats like Benazir or Asma Jahangir.

    Fauzia’s fame was largely local, rooted deep in whatever that is left of the tradition of progressive politics and liberalism in the country’s urban middle-classes – a tradition that was triggered by the rise of the PPP in the late 1960s and gave large sections of the Pakistani middle-classes a left-leaning and almost revolutionary dimension.

    Although Fauzia was in school when leftist student organisations and trade, labour and journalist unions rose to successfully challenge the rule of Pakistan’s first military dictator, Ayub Khan, in the late 1960s, she was quick to join politics when she entered college in 1972 and then the Karachi University in 1975.

    A glimpse into her career as a student politician can be an insightful exercise to understand the kind of a charisma she possessed that continued to make her stand out without requiring her to be a leading political figure or an ideologue.

    A PPP colleague of hers once described Fauzia as a smiling rebel who had a natural knack of balancing her traditional side with her rebellious streak without looking or sounding contradictory or confused.

    The same colleague (who was talking to me late last year in an informal chat), thought that Fauzia’s first act of rebellion was actually against her own ethnic background.

    Coming from an educated Urdu-speaking family settled in Karachi, Fauzia did not automatically support the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) or the Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) like most Urdu-speakers of Sindh and its capital, Karachi, did till the late 1970s.

    Instead, when she joined college, she at once jumped into the ranks of leftist and progressive student groups, but without waving Mao’s Red Book or Marx’s Das Kapital.

    Another colleague of hers who was with her in a progressive student group at Karachi University and then later joined the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), told me that Fauzia was always more interested in solving the problems of the students and challenging those who used faith to impose their politics than she was in leftist theory.

    It was this attitude of hers that placed her in the leading ranks of the Progressive Students Alliance at the Karachi University – an alliance comprising of various left-wing, liberal and Sindhi, Baloch and Pashtun student groups.

    But battling opposing student groups, especially those on the right, through student union elections and campaigning, was where it all started and ended for Fauzia – in 1978 she met and married another passionate progressive student politician, Wahab Siddiqui, who soon went on to become an accomplished journalist.

    After marriage, Fauzia gladly became a housewife, raising her children and supporting her husband’s career as a journalist. But her love for politics, the liberal ideals that had driven her as a student and her romance for Karachi remained intact.

    Some early recruits of the MQM claim that Fauzia almost joined the MQM when it suddenly rose to become Karachi’s leading party in the late 1980s. Though this was never mentioned by Fauzia herself, it is however true that she eventually became a kind of a pioneer of a little known but important strain in the workings of the PPP in Karachi.

    I can vouch for this because I, as an active member of the PPP’s student-wing, the PSF (in the 1980s), too got involved in what Fauzia would ultimately represent within the PPP as a Karachiite.

    When Benazir returned to Pakistan from exile in 1986 and then went on to become the country’s first woman prime minister in 1988, she at once recognised the importance of having the MQM as a ‘natural ideological partner’ and a party that could keep governments afloat with the seats that it was able to win in Karachi and Hyderabad.

    I was at the Karachi University in 1989 when Benazir constituted a team of Sindhi and Urdu-speaking members of the PPP to negotiate a coalition deal with MQM chief Altaf Hussain. I remember how this policy created a kind of a rift within the ranks of the PSF in Karachi.

    One faction was totally against Benazir’s move, while the other faction saw it as a way to unite secular forces so they could reclaim the political space they had lost to the ‘reactionaries’ and religionists during Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship.

    Though a Punjabi from my father’s side, I was born and bred in Karachi. So I decided to side with the latter group and was ultimately ‘expelled’ from the university by the former faction.

    Of course, the coalition collapsed and dozens of students lost their lives in the deadly clashes that followed between the PSF and MQM’s student-wing the APMSO.

    However, even while an operation was underway against MQM militants under the second Benazir regime (1993-96), I am witness to the fact that Benazir’s idea of creating a bridge (made up of ideological similarities as well as pragmatism) between Karachi chapters of the PPP and MQM was very much alive.

    And here is where Fauzia came in. After the tragic sudden death of her husband in 1993, Fauzia found herself returning to politics. Her husband had played an active role as a journalist against the Zia dictatorship and this drew the attention of Benazir who made Fauzia the Information Secretary of the PPP’s women’s wing in Sindh.

    An articulate and educated person from a respected Urdu-speaking middle-class family, Fauzia was to become that bridge between the PPP and Urdu-speakers in Karachi. Later on, Fauzia, along with another prominent PPP Karachite, Faisal Raza Abidi, would play a prominent role in helping Asif Ali Zardari strike a coalition with the MQM after the 2008 elections.

    Though a passionate Karachite and proud of her ethnic background, Fauzia was first and foremost a Pakistani who wanted to use the platform of a large political party to continue raising human rights issues, especially those related to women.

    Fauzia became a close confidant of Benazir Bhutto. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Fauzia was the person Benazir banked on to continue building links between the PPP and Urdu-speakers in Karachi as well as being one of the faces in the PPP the MQM was most comfortable with.

    But it wasn’t until during the Musharraf dictatorship that Fauzia was thrown into the limelight of Pakistani politics. Being made an MNA during the 2002 elections, she played an active political role against the Musharraf regime.

    This was also due to the eruption of privately owned TV news channels in the country. Fauzia became a prominent fixture in most political talk shows, passionately criticising the Musharraf regime and articulating her party’s understanding of the situation.

    After Benazir’s shocking assassination in 2007, Fauzia managed to survive the PPP’s new chairperson Asif Ali Zardari’s changes within the party structure. In fact she became an even more prominent figure in the party.

    Along with Faisal Raza Abidi and Qamar Zaman Kaira, Fauzia became one of the fiercest defenders of the PPP regime’s polices in the electronic media. But unlike many other politicians who also became regular fixtures on TV talk shows, Fauzia retained a cheerful witty attitude.

    However, she wasn’t only about defending her party’s regime. Along with famous human rights activist and lawyer, Asma Jahangir, Fauzia was one of the few prominent Pakistani women who never held back while lambasting crimes of hate committed by religious nuts and terrorists.

    She openly condemned the murder of Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, by a crackpot who wrongly accused Taseer of committing blasphemy. She was threatened by a number of fanatical clerics and their supporters for this.

    Fauzia continued highlighting the threat to Pakistanis, especially women and those belonging to minority religions, faced from radical religious groups. She continued to remain a target of the abuse and menacing threats that came her way from religious outfits.

    But she marched on, still holding her balanced mantle that seamlessly mixed passionate oratory with reason and hearty wit.

    Fauzia still had a lot of years of solid politics and activism in her. But, alas, if the reports that are coming in are to be believed, what was supposed to be a routine gallbladder operation, turned into complicated mess thanks to the doctors’ oversights and bungling.

    After fighting for her life for three weeks in the hospital, she breathed her last on 17 June leaving behind a bereaved family and a gaping hole in the realms of activistic politics and the battle between the rational and the retarded raging in a troubled Pakistan.

    http://dawn.com/2012/06/18/the-laughing-warrior/

  • Syed A. Mateen’s comment (ET):

    I recall those days when PPP was in opposition during General Musharraf’s rule.
    Fauzia called me on phone after reading one of my articles that was published in one of the English dailies. She said that she want to visit my residence, but I said that instead that she should come to me, I would visit her residence to pay my respects and regards to her.
    We were together for two hours during which time she served tea to me.
    We discussed lot of issues which were faced by the people in the country. Before leaving her residence, I assured her that in the forthcoming elections, PPP is going to win the elections and will be coming into power.
    The last I met to Fauzia Wahab when she attended the ceremony of a local Urdu daily ‘Aaj Kal” at Marriot Karachi.
    She came and called my name from the back side and when I turned my back it was the great Fauzia Wahab standing and smiling.
    With lot of other Pakistanis, I will ever miss Fauzia Wahab. She was a great lady with humor; understanding and have always respected the people.
    At the time when I am writing these lines, I am burst into tears and pray to Al-Mighty Allah to rest her soul in peace and give her family strength to bear this irreparable loss of life. Ameen

  • فوزیہ وہاب: نڈر، بے باک اور وفادار رہنما
    ریاض سہیل
    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، کراچی
    آخری وقت اشاعت: اتوار 17 جون 2012

    فوزیہ وہاب کے انتقال کی صورت میں پاکستان کی حکمران جماعت پیپلز پارٹی کو جہاں ایک وفادار کارکن کی جدائی کا صدمہ سہنا پڑا ہے وہیں اس کی پالیسیوں کا دفاع کرنے والا ایک اور سپاہی کم ہوگیا ہے۔

    فوزیہ وہاب کی شخصیت کے کئی پہلو تھے، جن میں سیاست کے علاوہ سماجی اور انسانی حقوق بھی نمایاں ہے۔ اس کی وجہ سیاست میں آنے کے بعد ان کی ان شعبوں کے لوگوں سے ملاقات اور روابط تھے۔

    فوزیہ وہاب انیس سو چھپن میں کراچی میں پیدا ہوئیں۔ انہیں طالب علمی کے دنوں سے سیاست سے دلچسپی رہی وہ ترقی پسند خیالات رکھتی تھیں۔

    صحافی وہاب صدیقی سے شادی کے بعد وہ ایک گھریلو خاتون کی طرح زندگی گزارتی رہیں، اسی عرصے میں انہوں نے حسینہ معین کے ایک ڈرامہ میں بھی کام کیا۔

    وہاب صدیقی کے انتقال کے بعد ان کی زندگی میں ایک نیا موڑ آیا اور انہوں نے ڈاکٹر اطہر حسین سے شادی کرلی۔ اس مرتبہ انہوں نے گھریلو زندگی کے ساتھ سیاست میں بھی پیر جمانے شروع کر دیے اور سیاسی میدان میں ان کا انتخاب پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی رہی۔

    انیس سو ترانوے میں جب وزیراعظم بینظیر بھٹو نے بلدیہ عظمیٰ کراچی کے لیے ایدھی ایئر ایمبولینس کے کپتان فہیم الزمان کو ایڈمنسٹریٹر مقرر کیا تو دیگر امور چلانے کے لیے ایک مشاورتی کمیٹی بھی تشکیل دی گئی، جس میں فوزیہ وہاب بھی شامل تھیں۔
    پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کی حکومت کی برطرفی کے بعد عام انتخابات میں انہیں کراچی کے ایک حلقے سے پارٹی کا امیدوار نامزد کیا گیا، انہیں اس میں کامیابی تو نصیب نہیں ہوئی مگر وہ قومی سیاست کے افق پر ابھر کر سامنے ضرور آئیں۔

    بینظیر بھٹو فوزیہ وہاب سے خاصی متاثر تھیں۔ انہوں نے فوزیہ کو پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے شعبۂ خواتین کا سیکرٹری اطلاعات مقرر کیا اور اس منصب پر وہ دو ہزار دو تک فائز رہیں۔
    نڈر اور بے باک سیاسی کارکن

    وزیہ وہاب ایک نڈر اور بے باک سیاسی کارکن تھیں اور ان کا جوشِ خطابت انہیں کئی بار مہنگا بھی پڑا۔ امریکی شہری ریمنڈ ڈیوس کی گرفتاری پر انہوں نے کہا کہ ریمنڈ کو واپس بھیجنا ہوگا کیونکہ اس کے پاس سفارتی پاسپورٹ ہے۔ اس پر اپوزیشن اور مذہبی جماعتوں نے خوب شور مچایا اور فوزیہ وہاب سے سیکرٹری اطلاعات کا منصب واپس لے لیا گیا مگر انہوں نے کبھی اس بات کا شکوہ نہیں کیا۔

    میاں نواز شریف کا دور حکومت پیپلز پارٹی کے لیے ایک کڑا وقت تھا جب کئی رہنما گرفتار تھے اور احتساب بیورو اہم رہنماؤں کو جکڑ میں لانے کے لیے سرگرم تھا۔

    انہی دنوں پیپلز پارٹی کی جانب سے انسانی حقوق سیل قائم کیا گیا اور فوزیہ وہاب اس کی کوآرڈینیٹر مقرر ہوئیں۔ وہ انسانی حقوق کی مقامی اور بین الاقوامی تنظیموں اور میڈیا سے رابطے میں رہیں اور اپنی جماعت کا بھرپور دفاع کرتی دکھائی دیں۔
    یہ سرگرمیاں حقوقِ انسانی کے شعبے میں ان کی دلچسپی بڑھانے کی وجہ بنیں اور وہ خود انسانی حقوق کی کارکن بن گئیں۔ اسی پس منظر کے تحت وہ حدود آرڈیننس اور توہین رسالت کے قانون کے خاتمے کے لیے سرگرم رہیں۔

    دو ہزار دو کے انتخابات میں فوزیہ وہاب کو خواتین کی مخصوص نشست پر کامیابی نصیب ہوئی۔ وہ پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کی ان رہنماؤں اور اراکین میں سے تھیں جو متوسط طبقے سے تعلق رکھتے ہیں اور سیاست کے میدان میں کئی مرحلوں سےگزر کر اس پوزیشن تک پہنچے۔

    کراچی میں دو ہزار پانچ کے بلدیاتی انتخابات کے لیے پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی اور دیگر جماعتوں میں اتحاد اور مشترکہ امیدوار لانے کی کوششیں کی گئیں اس مشاورت میں فوزیہ وہاب شامل رہیں، انہیں جماعت اسلامی سے ایڈجسمنٹ کی ذمہ داری سونپی گئی تھی۔
    دو ہزار آٹھ کے انتخابات میں وہ دوسری بار خواتین کے لیے مخصوص نشست پر کامیاب ہوئیں اور جب شیری رحمان کو وفاقی وزیر اطلاعات کے عہدے سے ہٹایا گیا تو ان سے پارٹی کے شعبۂ اطلاعات کی سیکرٹری کی بھی ذمہ داری واپس لے لی گئی اور یہ ذمہ داری فوزیہ وہاب کے حصے میں آئی۔

    فوزیہ وہاب ایک نڈر اور بے باک سیاسی کارکن تھیں اور ان کا جوشِ خطابت انہیں کئی بار مہنگا بھی پڑا۔ امریکی شہری ریمنڈ ڈیوس کی گرفتاری پر انہوں نے کہا کہ ریمنڈ کو واپس بھیجنا ہوگا کیونکہ اس کے پاس سفارتی پاسپورٹ ہے۔ اس پر اپوزیشن اور مذہبی جماعتوں نے خوب شور مچایا اور فوزیہ وہاب سے سیکرٹری اطلاعات کا منصب واپس لے لیا گیا مگر انہوں نے کبھی اس بات کا شکوہ نہیں کیا۔

    فوزیہ چار برس سے پاکستان کے نیوز چینلز پر مسلسل مدلل انداز سے پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کی حکومت کا دفاع کرتی دکھائی دیں اور کئی بار ایسا بھی ہوا کہ وہ جذبات میں آ کر پروگراموں سے اٹھ کر بھی چلی گئیں۔

    چھپن سالہ فوزیہ وہاب نے اپنے سیاسی کیریئر میں تو کبھی وفاداری تبدیل نہیں کی لیکن خود ان کی اپنی زندگی ان سے وفا نہ کر سکی

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2012/06/120617_fauzia_profile_zs.shtml

  • She was a respected politician who remained loyal to her party despite pressure from the despot, we all know by the name of Musharraf.

    Unlike certain others (Sherry Rehman, Naheed Khan) she did not start conspiring against her own party when she was removed for the info secretary’s post.

    She was very friendly and polite with party workers and media persons and performed her responsibilities in a serious and honest manner. She managed to be in public domain without any negative publicity or scandal. This is no less an achievement in Pakistan.

    May her soul rest in peace. Inna Lillah…

  • Aseefa B Zardari ‏@AseefaBZ
    #FauziaWahab was a great lady she stood by the party through tough times, was loyal, a powerful speaker and she was a kind hearted soul

    Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    RT @MahdiBaloch A brave voice who always spoke for sanity & progressive Pakistan since her NSF days is lost. RIP #FauziaWahab.

    Dr. Arif Alvi ‏@ArifAlvi
    May Fauzia Wahab rest in peace. Had known her for a long time. Very decent lady. It is a loss to the nation. PTI condoles her death

    Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
    Fauzia Wahab maintained a fine balance between her progressive ideals and a modest lifestyle http://shar.es/st17M

    Kamran Shafi ‏@KamranShafi46
    Rest in Peace Fauzia Wahab; your feistiness and impeccably good manners and courage will be sorely missed. Long Live Parliamentary Democracy

    Husain Haqqani ‏@husainhaqqani
    Fauzia Wahab always represented the courage of her convictions & fought bigotry, prejudice & reactionary opinions. Prayers & condolences.

    Imran Khan ‏@ImranKhanPTI
    We are truly saddened by the tragic death of Fauzia Wahab. May Allah give her family the strength to bear this loss.

    Mubasher Lucman ‏@MubasherLucman
    I also want to say I am very sad and feel sorry for the family of Fauzia Wahab may Allah grant her eternal happiness and comfort. Ameen

    Asad Munir ‏@asadmunir38
    Fauzia Wahab,just 56 years old.She was not treated well by a section of the media because of her only crime that she was from PPP.RIP

    zahid Hussain ‏@hidhussain
    Sad on the death of Fauzia Wahab. A dedicated political worker and a fighter for democracy.

    Shahbaz Zahid ‏@shahbazzahid
    RIP Fauzia Wahab. A friend of my father from university days. Lost her husband, a journalist, around 15 years back – but still stood strong!

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
    Fauzia Wahab will always be missed. She always accepted our criticism of the PPP in a gracious manner. RIP #FauziaWahab

  • My heart bleeds. I never met Fauzia because I am an ordinary man, but every time I watched Fauzia on TV talk shows or responding to journalist’s question, I found her soft spoken with strongest logic that touched my heart and brains same time.

    Every breathing sould has to cease their existence at Allah’s given time. We are only required to bow down to His Will. May Allah keep the departed soul in peace and give courage to her bereaved survivors. At this hour of grief, I equally share her loss.

  • Rest in peace Ms Wahab! You will always be remembered by jayalas as someone who stood by the side of the party in the toughest of times!

  • What a modest, kind, educated, loyal and an honest woman. Ms Wahab, you will surely be missed. Heartiest condolences to the family. RIP

  • Talat Aslam ‏@titojourno
    Fauzia Wahab: a breed to be cherished. A middle class activist who made her mark in her party thru sheer courage, hard work and conviction

  • Fauzia laid to rest amid tears, cries at Karachi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efUuwF9vuIw

    KARACHI – Funeral prayer for senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader, Fauzia Wahab, was offered on Monday at Sultan Mosque in Defence area of Karachi.
    Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh cabinet members, PPP Secretary General Jahangir Badar, ANP Chief Asfand Yar Wali, MQM leader Babar Ghauri and other personalities participated in funeral prayers.
    She was laid to rest in native graveyard. Fauzia Wahab, 56, passed away at a local hospital on Sunday after being ill for three weeks.
    Fauzia Wahab was admitted to a local hospital and underwent a gal bladder surgery her condition went critical after two weeks of surgery and died on Sunday evening. Pakistan People’s Party announced 10-days mourning on her death.
    President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Raja Riaz and others expressed their grief and sorrow over Ms Wahab’s death.
    Fauzia Wahab, a social worker and politician, died on June 17, 2012 leaving behind many of his followers and lovers to mourn but she would be remembered in the history of Pakistan for many years.
    She was associated with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and was a member of National Assembly from Sindh returned on a reserved seat for women after the February 18, 2008 general elections.
    Fauzia Wahab had been appointed as the new central Information Secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party in place of Ms. Sherry Rehman on March 18, 2009 by the party Co-Chairman, Asif Ali Zardari.
    Fauzia was born in November 14, 1956 and is the eldest of four children.
    She married in 1978 to Wahab Siddiqui, a journalist. For the next fourteen years, she was a housewife and had four children.
    Fauzia Wahab acted in Haseena Moin’s drama serial ‘Kohar’ as the cousin of the hero played by then famous model Junaid Butt. The Drama was aired in 1991-92 and directed by M Zaheer Khan.
    In February 1993, Wahab Siddiqui died of a massive heart attack and her life took a new turn. She then re-married prominent cardiologist Dr Athar Hussein.
    Fauzia Wahab worked for the Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Leasing as a Marketing Manager between 1993 and 1996. During this period, she was nominated as Member Advisory Council of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in October 1994.
    Initially she was given charge of the a Municipal Ward 59, area consisting of Cooperative societies of Karachi. She was also nominated as Chairman of the Information Committee of KMC.
    In the meanwhile, then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto nominated her to become the Information Secretary of women’s wing of the PPP in Sindh, a position Fauzia held till early 2002. After the dissolution of the PPP government in November 1996, general elections were held in February 1997 in which she was nominated to contest the elections on NA-193, as a PPP candidate. The PPP lost the elections and was confined to the opposition benches in the subsequent National Assembly.

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/06/18/news/national/fauzia-laid-to-rest-amid-tears-cries-at-karachi/

    ……

    Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Fauzia Wahab was laid to rest in the Gizri graveyard in Karachi on Monday, reported Express News.
    Wahab passed away at a private hospital on Sunday as she went into a coma after remaining in critical condition at an intensive care unit. Her funeral prayers were offered at Sultan Masjid after Zuhr prayers.
    Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah, Federal Minister Rehman Malik and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Raza Haroon attended the funeral among other party leaders.
    Wahab’s soyem will be held tomorrow at her residence in Karachi.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/395405/ppp-leader-fauzia-wahab-laid-to-rest/

    http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=54874

  • WAHAB SIDDIQUI
    Wahab Siddiqui was a Pakistani journalist and TV anchorman on political talkshows on Pakistan Television. He was born on August 25, 1950. He was associated with the National Students Federation during his student days in 1970’s. He completed his Masters in History from Karachi University. He was a good player of Field Hockey playing as a goalkeeper for Karachi, Sindh, South Zone, and Karachi University. During his career he worked for publications like Morning Times, Pakistan Times, Pakistan & Gulf Economist. Between 1981 and 1984, he was the Editor of Weekly MAG[1] belonging to the Jang Group. His TV career included programs like Saat Din, Pesh Manzar and transmissions on general elections.

    Later on he worked for the Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) looking after Public Relations and Information. He died on February 20, 1993 after suffering a massive heart attack.

    He was married to Fauzia Wahab and had four children

    Read more: http://www.forumpakistan.com/wahab-siddiqui-t15852.html#ixzz1y9Z95c5B

  • Fauzia Wahab (November 14,1956-June 17, 2012; Urdu: فوزیہ وہاب ) was a Pakistani politician in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). She was a member of National Assembly from Sindh returned on a reserved seat for women after the February 18, 2008 general elections. Fauzia Wahab had been appointed as the new central Information Secretary of the Pakistan Peoples Party in place of Ms. Sherry Rehman on March 18, 2009 by Co-Chairman, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari[1]

    Contents [hide]
    1 Personal life
    2 Political career
    3 Benazir Bhutto’s return and assassination attempts
    4 Case of Davis’s diplomatic status
    5 References
    6 External links
    [edit]Personal life

    [edit]Political career

    Fauzia Wahab worked for the Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Leasing as a Marketing Manager between 1993 and 1996. During this period, she was nominated as Member Advisory Council of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in October 1994. Initially she was given charge of the a Municipal Ward 59, area consisting of Cooperative societies of Karachi. She was also nominated as Chairman of the Information Committee of KMC. In the meanwhile, then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto nominated her to become the Information Secretary of women’s wing of the PPP in Sindh, a position Fauzia held till early 2002. After the dissolution of the PPP government in November 1996, general elections were held in February 1997 in which she was nominated to contest the elections on NA-193, as a PPP candidate. The PPP lost the elections and was confined to the opposition benches in the subsequent National Assembly.

    With cases established against the PPP leadership, a multi pronged strategy was initiated by the party to defend its leadership. It included contesting cases in the courts and apprising international institutions about the conduct of these cases. Later on in 1998, Benazir Bhutto nominated Fauzia Wahab to become the Central Coordinator of the Human Rights Cell and was tasked to correspond with human rights defending organizations abroad. During the incarceration period of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, she wrote on various pressure tactics of the National Accountability Bureau and various government agencies against the couple as well as party leaders and workers.[2][3][4][5] She was also an active proponent for the repealing of the Hudood Ordinance as well as Blasphemy law.[6]

    When the Pakistani general election, 2002 were called in October, she was nominated as a candidate for the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly. She took oath as a legislator and was also made part of Standing Committee on Privatization and Standing Committee on Economic Affairs. She was also a senior member of the Finance Committee of the National Assembly that looked after the budget of the assembly.

    In 2003, she attended the National Defence College course for bringing the politicians and Armed forces close to each other. She was one of the initiators of relationship with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and was invited to attend the “Win With Women – Global Initiative” of the Institute in December 2003. In June 2004, she was invited by the NDI to attend the 2004 Democratic National Convention[7] in Boston where Senator John Kerry was nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2004.

    Fauzia also represented her party on a study tour of the German Parliamentary System in 2004.

    With the 2005 Local Government elections taking place in August, she was made responsible to work out an adjustment with the Jamat-e-Islami in the District East of Karachi. Later on, she was nominated to contest the elections of Nazim of the City District Government Karachi, however, her candidature was withdrawn in favor Naimatullah Khan.

    During the National Assembly of 2002 and 2007, she was a very active member of the opposition involved in a number of questions, calling attention notices, adjournment motions, resolutions and motions. She was also a mover of a number of bills including a bill on the environment and a ban on polythene bags.

    She was nominated again for a second term by the PPP and returned to the National Assembly. She took oath as a Treasury bench member on March 6, 2008.

    After Information Minister Sherry Rehman resigned from her government position, the party position she held was taken away and Fauzia Wahab was appointed the Information Secretary of the PPP. By virtue of being the Information Secretary, Fauzia Wahab became an ex-officio member of the Central Executive Committee of the Party.

    Fauzia Wahab apparently resigned amongst the Raymond Davis controversy in February 2011, she made some comments about the Davis case and the outgoing FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a ‘disciplinary’ tone that the Peoples Party immediately disowned. She still continues to be an MNA and holds an important banking and finance related portfolio in the Senate.

    On 29 May 2012, Fauzia Wahab, a central leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is likely to undergo gall bladder surgery at a local hospital [8]

    On 30 May 2012, Fauzia Wahab, Member National Assembly (MNA) and a former student leader, underwent a gallbladder surgery. She developed post operative complications. She was put on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). However she didn’t recover from post operative complications and died on Sunday June 17, 2012.[9]

    [edit]Benazir Bhutto’s return and assassination attempts

    PPP Chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after an eight year Self exile on October 18, 2007. A crowd of nearly 3 lakhs people had assembled outside the Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. The convoy carrying the PPP Chairperson was attacked at midnight by a Suicide bomber in which more than 180 citizens and party workers were killed and more than 500 were injured. Fauzia was also on the truck carrying the Chairperson and was injured in the explosion.

    [edit]Case of Davis’s diplomatic status

    Fauzia, being outspoken, landed herself in a minor media controversy on her comments on Raymond Davis, the US citizen centrestage on volatile Pakistani politics for broad daylight killing of two ISI operatives besides a civilian, infamous for planting chips for drone attacks, besides helping fuel terrorism. Fauzia’ comments over the outgoing Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who allegedly resigned for his support to the judicial process for the Raymond Davis case in refusing to accept US pressure to grant him diplomatic status, landed her in further trouble with the PPP leadership and the media.

    [edit]References

    ^ “Fauzia replaces Sherry as PPP Info Secretary”. Dailytimes.com.pk. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
    ^ “PPP writes to CW, raises issue of Zardari’s imprisonment. | Asia Africa Intelligence Wire (November, 2003)”. Accessmylibrary.com. November 8, 2003. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
    ^ “Leading News Resource of Pakistan”. Daily Times. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
    ^ Govt preventing Benazir’s return: PPP -DAWN – National; August 13, 2002[dead link]
    ^ PPP apprises UN body of legislators’ arrests -DAWN – National; 17 April 2005[dead link]
    ^ PPP seeks UN help to get blasphemy law abolished -DAWN – National; July 20, 2002[dead link]
    ^ NDI – National Democratic Institute for International Affairs[dead

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fauzia_Wahab

  • RIP Fauzia Wahab
    By Editorial
    Published: June 18, 2012

    Fauzia Wahab’s untimely death at 55 years is a loss not just for her family and the PPP but for everyone who wanted to see a different kind of politics being practised in Pakistan. Here was a middle class woman, defiantly and proudly taking centre stage in an arena that was dominated by rich men. Ms Wahab had none of the privileges of wealth and gender but she compensated for that with a tenacity and loyalty that was unmatched in the PPP. Unlike so many politicians who are gifted their careers in the form of a dynasty or legacy, Ms Wahab was not born into politics. Rather she discovered an aptitude for it as a student leader at the Karachi University. After a period where she worked in television and other ventures, Ms Wahab was brought into the PPP by Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s and ever since then had become a permanent fixture in the party, usually as its public defender.
    Ms Wahab’s greatest asset may have been her fearlessness. She was particularly outspoken in her calls for the Hudood Ordinances and blasphemy laws to be repealed. When Salmaan Taseer was murdered, Ms Wahab was one of the very few brave souls to publicly condemn his assassination. After replacing Sherry Rehman as the PPP’s information secretary, Ms Wahab was a constant presence on talk shows, cowering political opponents and getting her party’s point across in a forceful and combative manner.
    Occasionally, Ms Wahab could go too far. She jeopardised her job during the Raymond Davis saga when she confidently said that the CIA contractor was protected by diplomatic immunity. This was not something the rest of the country was ready to hear and Ms Wahab at least had the courage to call a spade a spade. But this episode, too, served to show her loyalty to the party. Keeping relations with the US on an even keel by releasing Davis from jail was a priority for the PPP and Ms Wahab was the one willing to stick her neck on the line by publicly speaking out in favour of it. Through it all, Ms Wahab never lost her smile or her cool. She might have been outspoken but Fauzia Wahab was never bitter. For that she deserves the gratitude of the entire nation and not just that of the PPP supporters.

    Published In The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/395454/rip-fauzia-wahab/

  • Fauzia Wahab was born in November, 1956 and was only 56 years old when her life support system was shut down at the hospital.
    She leaves behind four children, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Ali Wahab, Sadi Wahab and Maheen Wahab, and widower Dr Athar Hussein. Fauzia Wahab was one of the most famous personalities in the PPP, who would often appear on television channels to robustly defend her party.
    She received her initial education in former West Germany where her father was posted at the Pakistan Embassy, and completed high school from the Khatoon-e-Pakistan Girls College Karachi in 1974. Later, she graduated from Karachi University (KU).
    Journalists and friends recall Fauzia Wahab’s interest in literature. She used to have a large collection of books, including on French philosophers.
    Her interest in politics, however, began during her student life at the University of Karachi. Federal Urdu University media department head Professor Tauseef Khan recalled that Fauzia had joined the Progressive Students Federation during her years at the university.
    Her friend Yasmin Riaz told The Express Tribune via telephone from the US that Fauzia was a student of international relations at KU, while her future first husband Wahab Siddiqui studied at the department of general history.
    “Fauzia was a loyal friend, good mother and very good person,” she said.
    When her husband died, Fauzia, who belonged to a middle class family, worked at various organisations to support her children. She also worked for Pakistan Industrial and Commercial Leasing Limited as a marketing manager between 1993 and 1996.
    Later, she married Dr Athar Hussain, a senior cardiologist.
    Fauzia also had a stint in television and acted in Haseena Moin’s drama series called “Kohar” in 1991.
    Another contemporary from those years, Sultan Hasan recalled that Fauzia’s political training during her years at the university actually helped her begin her active political career with the PPP, which essentially started after her husband’s death in 1993.
    She worked in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and in 1998, Wahab became the central coordinator of the PPP’s human rights cell.
    “Soon after she became head of the human rights cell, Benazir Bhutto was very impressed by her work because of her strong communication skills. She pleaded the party case well,” PPP MNA Shagufta Jumani said.
    She also worked against the Hudood Ordinance and blasphemy law and suffered threats to her life from militant organisations as a result.
    Later, slain former premier Benazir Bhutto nominated her as the information secretary of the PPP’s women wing in Sindh, a position she held till early 2002.
    “She was a brave woman who always used to stick to her viewpoint in party meetings without any fear. She asked Benazir Bhutto to allot her a general seat ticket instead of the reserved seat in the last general elections,” said PPP senator Saeed Ghani.
    When Sherry Rehman resigned from her position as information minister, Fauzia was appointed the information secretary of the PPP.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/395304/obituary-ppp-leader-fauzia-wahab-passes-away/

    ——–

    Mirza
    14 hours ago
    Reply
    I had a neighbor and friend long time ago, Wahab Siddiqui. He was a good hockey player and a great debater. Later he married Fauzia and I lost contact with them all. Late I heard Wahab was a TV commentator. One day I heard he passed away, I had no formal relationship with his family so I kept the pain to myself. Now it is the era of Internet so I am writing a short note to Fauzia’s family. There are more people who value your parents than you might think. There are known and unknown admirers and friends who quietly mourn the loss of your parents. Both Wahab and Fauzia passed away at a younger age. May God bless them and their family. Being a neighbor and friend I even remember Wahab’s father, a lawyer. “Soorten kiy honge jo khak mein pinhan ho gayin”.

    Pragmatist
    15 hours ago
    Reply
    I am an Indian but I will miss Ms.Wahab. She was always so cheerful and her smile was something that lit up everything around her. She had a great sense of humour and I have watched a lot of shows especially with Javed Choudhary. Rest in Peace madam !!

    Riaz Khan
    12 hours ago
    Reply
    Never knew her personally but it seems that I have lost my sister! Her smiles, confidence, boldness & knowledge of various subjects impressed me. Pakistan & in fact the whole world lost a very nice human being. All I can say to her kids that you were very lucky to have such a great mother & just follow her principles, teachings & believe in humanity. May God give you courage to bear this terrible loss. Want to write more but cannot find appropriate words to express my feelings.

    Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    16 hours ago
    Reply
    One of very few leader from the province of Sindh and representative of our country who was so clear on each and every position she took while in or off the office. One of the best lady with a smile even if she was angry during any interview of talk show. My heart goes for such a brave and intelligent politician who left us when the country needed her most. Fauzia Bibi, may your soul rest in peace, Amen.

  • i wonder why people are praising her, she was part of a worst government ever we had in pakistan.i have always seen her on media making fun of her opponents. intelligent lady ha ha,of what use her intelligence was only how to avoid criticism on black deeds of ppp govt.in my view blood of a common pakistani is more valuable who dies of hunger,target killing or drone attacks..than these heartless and selfish people. we do not want them….

  • A tribute to Fauzia Wahab

    By Wajid Shamsul Hasan

    In the untimely death of PPP MNA Fauzia Wahab, Pakistan has lost a rising star on the national political horizon. She was a politician whose uprightness, incorruptibility, honesty and commitment to democracy have been acknowledged unequivocally by even her political opponents with whom she was always crossing swords in defence of her party and leadership. Her being above board recognised by all is the best tribute to her.

    Fauzia had made her mark at the Karachi University as a firebrand speaker, a top class debater both in English and Urdu and a liberal secular student activist. Her love for democracy was embedded in her from her student days when she used to be in the forefront of democratic movement against dictatorship.

    I had known Fauzia since late 1970s when her husband Wahab Siddiqui joined the Jang Group. He got associated with me when I was editing the Daily News and Weekly Mag. He was also a TV anchor in those good old days when PTV was the only channel. Despite PTV being state owned, Wahab maintained neutrality which is rare among TV anchor these days. Wahab Siddiqui died in the prime of his life and Fauzia as a young widow became a single mother to bring up four children. It were her singular qualities that she not only proved herself to be a caring mother but also took upon herself the task of earning a respectable livelihood in a male chauvinistic environment as well as pursuing her political ambitions as an activist totally committed to the cause of democracy and a liberal Pakistan.

    I fondly remember with enormous admiration her forceful presentations in support of democracy, empowerment of the less privileged, including women and minorities. I could see her blossoming into a politician of high repute. The judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979 was a turning point in her life.

    Obviously when she decided to be in politics she opted for the PPP under the leadership of martyred Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as the means to achieve her higher ideals. And once she joined the PPP, her talents and organisational capabilities caught Benazir Bhutto’s attention and she was chosen by her for an important role in the PPP.

    Fauzia became a career woman by working for a commercial leasing as a marketing manager between 1993 and 1996, while pursuing her political activities. In recognition of her sterling qualities she was nominated as member Advisory Council of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in October 1994. She was also nominated as chairperson of the Information Committee of KMC.

    Having tested and tried her loyalty, the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto nominated her to become the information secretary of Women’s Wing of the PPP in Sindh. She proved her mettle by making the PPP Women’s Wing an effective arm of the party. After the unconstitutional dissolution of the PPP government by president Farooq Leghari in November 1996, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto showed her trust in Fauzia by giving her PPP ticket to contest general elections for a National Assembly seat in February 1997. The PPP lost the elections not because it had become unpopular but due to the fact that not many PPP supporters participated in it realising that it was an exercise in futility. The PPP had been ousted through a conspiracy of the establishment. The heinous conspiracy against Bhutto and PPP was laid bare when Asghar Khan filed a petition in the Supreme Court bringing on record how intelligence apparatus under the instructions of the then president had conspired to keep PPP and Benazir out of power. As the main opposition party, the PPP did not give up its commitment to seeking restoration of genuine democracy. Despite plethora of fabricated cases against PPP leaders, its victimisation and government’s politics of vendetta, it stood its ground. The PPP adopted a multi-faceted strategy to defend its leadership. Fauzia was a front-rank leader in the party initiative that included contesting cases in the courts and apprising international institutions about the biased and vindictive judicial process.

    In recognition of Fauzia’s unparalleled services to the PPP and its struggle for democracy in 1998, Bhutto nominated Fauzia to become the central coordinator of the Human Rights Cell and was assigned to correspond with human rights organisations abroad. All through this vindictive era of prosecution, persecution of Bhutto and long incarceration of Asif Ali Zardari, she vociferously exposed the oppressive tactics of the then Ehtesab Bureau (NAB) headed by Senator Saifur Rahman of the PML-N. Fauzia also earned plaudits for active role for the repealing of the Hudood Ordinance as well as making the blasphemy laws less abusive under the directive of Benazir Bhutto.

    In the general elections in October 2002, Fauzia was nominated by PPP leadership as a candidate for the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly. As MNA, she was also made part of the Standing Committee on Privatisation and Standing Committee on Economic Affairs. In both she performed immensely well. Her contribution was laudable as member of the NA finance committee that looked after the budget of the assembly. Fauzia attended in 2003 the National Defence College course for bringing the politicians and armed forces close to each other. She made her mark as one of the main initiators of relationship with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and was invited to attend the ‘Win With Women – Global Initiative’ of the institute in December 2003. In recognition of her services, she was also invited in June 2004 by the NDI to attend the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Fauzia also represented PPP on a study tour of the German parliamentary system in 2004.

    During the National Assembly of 2002-2007, she was a very active member of the opposition involved in legislative business. She was also a mover of a number of bills, including a bill on the environment and a ban on polythene bags. She was nominated again for a second term by the PPP and returned to the National Assembly. Because of her communication skills, she was appointed PPP’s information secretary. As information secretary, Fauzia became an ex-officio member of the Central Executive Committee of the party. She earned appreciation for her defence of the government and leadership. In her death, PPP and Pakistan have lost one of the most dynamic, vociferous and dauntless defenders of democracy and rights of the people.

    The author is the high commissioner of Pakistan to the UK
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C06%5C19%5Cstory_19-6-2012_pg7_29