Fauzia Wahab speaking at the reference for Salmaan Taseer in Karachi's PMA House
Related articles: LUBP Archive on Fauzia Wahab
On 14 February 2011, a courageous woman while responding to questioners at the Karachi Press Club said what many men won’t have ever said. She treaded on to a territory which was the “exclusive” domain of the men in Khakis and Babus. She stated that the Raymond Davis’ issue could not be dissociated from the ground-realities of the Pakistan-US relations including Pakistan’s economic dependence on the US and also Pakistan’s diplomatic responsibilities under Vienna Convention.
What she said was that the US was the largest market for Pakistani products, adding that the country earned more than $4 billion annually from trade with it. She said:
“More than a million Pakistanis are living in US, send remittances, which supports our economy. But unfortunately, we are talking against the (same) country and its people without any logic. We should respect and abide by national and international laws.”
And also what she did about Raymond Davis’ immunity was quote what was written in the Pakistan Law Digest (PLD). She said:
“PLD contains (several) judgments of the Supreme Court and high courts also provide diplomats immunity under articles 29 and 37 clause-A”.
Indeed, I am talking about Fauzia Wahab who until recently held the position of the Central Information Secretary of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.
And of course, all hell broke loose because of her statement on Raymond Dvis and the intricacies of the Pakistan-US relations.
She was castigated as a sell off. She was termed an American tout. There were hate messages of the worst possible kinds.
She faced such pressures not only politically but also within her own family, suddenly some in-laws also came into limelight asking her to change her surname. However, she stuck to her guns saying that she spoke from her heart.
After discussions with the party leadership, she resigned from her position that allowed her to be in the top decision making body of the PPP. She resigned gracefully, saying she wouldn’t like her party to suffer in case she is called to the courts to explain her statement. The handover was simple and straight. She resigned and Qamar Zaman Kaira was appointed in her place.
Here is a video clip of her graceful departure from her post:
What was different about her episode was that she didn’t give any adverser statement against the party leadership, which is a norm whenever someone is removed they start giving statements that are detrimental to their benefactors i.e. their party.
In recent history, Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s ghairat awoke the day he was not appointed foreign minister while Fauzia Wahab’s predecessor Sherry Rehman is termed as the doyen of honesty after she resigned as Information Minister and removed as PPP Information Secretary. In fact Sherry Rehman’s active role, participation and correspondence in a Civil Society group “Citizens for Democracy” which comprises several PPP-phobes is a rude reminder of how some people conveniently change their masks according to their own vested interests and self projection.
If one goes a little further in history, people like Syed Iqbal Haider, Aitzaz Ahsan, Naheed Khan, Iftikhar Gilani and many more went against the party line only after being removed or not being given what they thought was their “right”.
In contrast, during Fauzia Wahab’s two years as party’s information head, she kept on doing a thankless job. She was an important bridge for her party workers, always accessible. She managed the affairs of the party’s information cell efficiently.
We used to get regular emails, talking points etc from PPP’s information cell under her leadership which used to be important for the party worker. Not many realize, she was never holding any official state position. She was not an information minister. She remained an ordinary worker of the party who reached her position through hard work.
Through this brief post, we want to reiterate that we are proud of you Fauzia. You have set an example for all those party leaders who feel that a position given to them by the party is their birth right.
PPP Central Information Secretary Ms. Fauzia Wahab inauguration FM Radio at Kinnaird College.