Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fauzia Wahab, central Information Secretary of the Pakistan Peoples Party

Fauzia Wahab is a Pakistani politician in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). She is currently a member of Pakistan's National Assembly from Sindh, returned on a reserved seat for women after the February 18, 2008 general elections.

Fauzia Wahab has 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.

Fauzia Wahab was born on November 14, 1956, in Karachi. Her father was serving the Ministry of Trade and Commerce and was stationed at various places having Pakistani missions like Khartoum and Bonn. She had her initial education in West Germany، but she completed her high school in Karachi in 1974 from the Khatoon-e-Pakistan Girls College. She was active in the student politics and became the Vice-President of the Student's Union at the college for the year 1973-74. She joined the Karachi University's International Relations department and graduated in 1978. During the university days, she was a member of the Progressive Students Front and was elected Faculty Representative in the Karachi University students union for the year 1977-78.

She married in 1978 to Wahab Siddiqui, a journalist and TV anchorman in political talk shows in later years on Pakistan Television. For the next fourteen years, she was a housewife and had four children. 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 & 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 comprising 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 the vilification campaign and politically motivated cases established against the PPP leadership, a multi pronged stragegy 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. She was also an active proponent for the repealing of the Hudood Ordinance as well as Blasphemy law.

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[8] in Boston where Senator John Kerry was nominated for United States presidential election, 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. (source:wikipedia)