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Tehmina Durrani Sharif
Tehmina Durrani in 1994.jpg
Durrani at an event in 1994
18th & 19th First Lady of Punjab
In role
8 June 2013 – 8 June 2018
Succeeded by Jugnu Mohsin
In role
8 June 2008 – 26 March 2013
Preceded by Jugnu Mohsin
6th First Lady of Punjab
In role
12 November 1973 – 15 March 1974
Succeeded by Shaheen Ramay
Personal details
Born (1953-02-18) 18 February 1953 (age 65)
Nationality Pakistani
Spouse(s) Anees Khan (divorced)
Mustafa Khar (divorced)
Shehbaz Sharif (m. 2003)
Parents S.U. Durrani and Samina
Relatives See Sharif family

Tehmina Durrani (Urdu: تہمینہ درانی‎; born 18 February 1953) is a Pakistani activist on women's and children's rights, feminist, author and former First Lady of Pubjab. Her first book, My Feudal Lord, caused discord in Pakistan's society by describing her abusive and traumatic marriage to Ghulam Mustafa Khar, then the Chief Minister and later Governor of Punjab.[1] As of 2003, she is married to politician Shahbaz Sharif.


Durrani was born into an educated and influential family. Her father, Shahkur Ullah Durrani, was the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, and the managing director of Pakistan International Airlines, while her mother, Samina, was a homemaker. From her mother's side, Tehmina is the granddaughter of Nawab Sir Liaqat Hayat Khan, Khattar, a prime minister of former princely state of Patiala for eleven years.[citation needed] Khan himself was the brother of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, a famous pre-1947 Punjabi Indian statesman and leader.

At seventeen, she married Anees Khan, and they had one daughter together. Durrani and Khan divorced in 1976. Durrani later married Ghulam Mustafa Khar, a former Chief Minister and Governor of Punjab. Khar had been married five times. Durrani and Khar had four children. After being abused by Khar for several years, she ended her marriage of thirteen years in divorce.

In 1991, Durrani wrote an autobiography titled My Feudal Lord alleging abuse by Khar.[2] She argued in the book that the real power of feudal landlords, like Khar, is derived from the distorted version of Islam that is supported by the silence of women and of society as a whole.[3]

As of 2003, Durrani is married to thrice-elected Chief Minister of Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif. They were married in a private ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Durrani resides at Raiwind Palace in Lahore with her husband, who is a part of the politically prominent Sharif family, and the brother of Nawaz Sharif, the Ex- Prime Minister of Pakistan.[4][5][6]

My Feudal Lord rights dispute[edit]

In June 1991, My Feudal Lord was released by Vanguard Books, a company owned by the journalists Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin. Durrani denied she signed a contract vesting complete foreign rights with Mohsin rather than with herself and her estate.[7] The dispute was settled in 1992.

On 19 May 1999, Durrani accused Sethi of stealing her book profits. She said, "[his actions were] an even bigger case of hypocrisy than my experience with the feudal system." At the time, Sethi was being detained without charge by Intelligence Bureau (Pakistan) for his comments to a British Broadcasting Corporation news team about government corruption. Durrani sued Sethi for mental torture, and he countersued for defamation. A review of the book contracts by the English newspaper The Independent described Sethi as acting in good faith and described him and Mohsin as "the injured party".[7]

Current activities[edit]

Since 2005, Durrani has supported the social rehabilitation of women.[8] In 2001, Durrani cared for Fakhra Younus, a former wife of Bilal Khar, the son of Khar from his third marriage. Younus had been attacked with acid, allegedly by her husband. Durrani's arrangements to take Younus abroad captured media attention. Younus was denied a passport to leave Pakistan but under public pressure was later allowed to leave.[9] Durrani engaged the Italian cosmetics firm Sant' Angelica and the government of Italy to treat Younus.[2] Smile Again, an Italian NGO head by Clarice Felli entered Pakistan to assist in the care of mutilated women. Italian mother left Pakistan after falling out with the chapter run by Musarat Misba of Depilex over financial discrepancies.[10] On 17 March 2012, Younus committed suicide in Italy and was buried in Karachi. Durrani received Younus' body draped in an Italian and a Pakistan flag.The funeral prayers for Younus took place at the Edhi centre in Kharadar.[11][12] The 2012 Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge directed critically acclaimed documentary film Saving Face was made on Younus' life, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, among several other accolades.

Selected works[edit]

My Feudal Lord (1991)[edit]

My Feudal Lord has been translated into 40 languages and has received awards.[2]

A Mirror to the Blind (1996)[edit]

Durrani's second book, A Mirror to the Blind, is the biography of Abdul Sattar Edhi,[13] who was Pakistan's highly decorated social worker. Over a three-year period, Durrani lived in Edhi's home and accompanied him on his visits. The book was published in 1996 by the National Bureau of Publications with the Edhi Foundation. It is the official document Abdul Sattar Edhi's life and message.[3]

Blasphemy (1998)[edit]

Her third book, Blasphemy (1998), was successful but also controversial.[14] In the novel she describes the secret lives of the Muslim clergy and spiritual leaders or pirs. Durrani said that the story is factual, with some names and events altered to protect the identity of the women who are at the center of the story. The book also delves into a critical approach to the tradition and practice of Nikah Halala. She describes several cases resulting in the humiliation and torture of Muslim women.[15] The book also made it into Pakistan's best-seller list.[16]

Happy Things in Sorrow Times (2013)[edit]

Durrani's fourth book "Happy Things in Sorrow Times" (2013) is a novel based on the childhood and youth of an Afghani girl Rabia. The novel was published by Pakistani Publishing group Ferozsons. In contrast to Blasphemy that is based on the issue of domestic violence, Hypocrisy of religious figures in rural Sindh (Pakistan), and distortion of Islamic values, this novel explores the dynamics of Afghan politics in the pre/post 9/11. The setting of the novel is Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the protagonist of the novel is an Afghani girl. The novel critiques interventions of Russia and America in Afghanistan. This is the first novel where Durrani uses her artwork as well.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Swarup, Harihar (1 November 1998). "Editorial: Sending ripples in Pak society". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 
  2. ^ a b c BLOCH, HANNAH (20 August 2001). "The Evil That Men Do". Time. 
  3. ^ a b "Tehmina Durrani". 
  4. ^ Haider, M. (11 February 2005). "Features: Shahbaz wedding: political fallout". Dawn. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Shahbaz Sharif Marries Tehmina". Arab News. 
  6. ^ "Shahbaz confirms marriage to Tehmina". Daily Times (Pakistan). 24 February 2005. Archived from the original on 17 May 2005. 
  7. ^ a b Peter Popham (20 July 1999). "My feudal lords Amnesty honoured him with its Journalism Under Threat award, but in Pakistan Najam Sethi is still persecuted". The Independent.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Punjab's ex-CM Shahbaz Sharif confirms Marriage with Tehmina Durrani". Daily Times (Pakistan). Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Amnesty International Document – Pakistan: Insufficient protection of women". Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "BBC NEWS - South Asia - Help for Pakistan's acid attack victims". 
  11. ^ "Fakhra: shunned in life, embraced in death". The News (Pakistan). Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Lifelong mission of mercy". 
  14. ^ "Tehmina Durrani: 'My family disowned me for 13 years'". Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Blasphemy". Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Of pir power and peccadilloes: Blasphemy exposes the rot within". Express India. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. 

External links[edit]


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