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Tehmina Durrani Sharif
Durrani at an event in 1994
|Born||18 February 1953|
|Spouse(s)||Anees Khan (divorced)
Mustafa Khar (divorced)
Shehbaz Sharif (m. 2003)
|Parent(s)||S.U. Durrani and Samina|
|Relatives||See Sharif family|
Tehmina Durrani (Urdu: تہمینہ درانی; born 18 February 1953) is a Pakistani women's rights activist and author. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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".
Since 2005, Durrani has supported the social rehabilitation of women. 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. Durrani engaged the Italian cosmetics firm Sant' Angelica and the government of Italy to treat Younus. 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. 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. 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.
My Feudal Lord has been translated into 39 languages and has received awards.
Durrani's second book, A Mirror to the Blind, is the biography of Abdul Sattar Edhi, 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.
Her third book, Blasphemy (1998), was successful but also controversial. 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. The book also made it into Pakistan's best-seller list.
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