The Amazing Life of Tehmina Durrani

Feb/07/2023 / by Team Seema
Tehmina Durrani
Image credits: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Tehmina Durrani’s life has played out in front of the press. Pakistan’s First Lady spent decades in public service before reaching high office. Durrani’s husband, Shehbaz Sharif, replaced Imran Khan as the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2022. Tehmina Durrani was able to bring her list of worthy causes to the attention of the public. The age of Tehmina Durrani has played no part in her ability to bring attention to the causes of women and children.

The Early Life of the First Lady

Tehmina Durrani has risen from a privileged position as a member of a political family in Punjab. The political connections of the Durrani family allowed them to build on the success of the Punjab region in the early-20th-century. The biography of Tahemina Durrani includes the first marriage to Anees Khan. The couple shared a daughter before divorcing in 1976.

The Battle for Women’s Rights

The activism of Durrani came to the fore in the 1990s. Details of the abuse suffered by Tehmina Durrani by her husband, Mustafa Khar shocked Pakistan. The former Governor of Punjab, Mustafa Khar was accused of abuse and neglect by his wife of 14 years. Durrani would divorce her second husband before causing a sensation with her autobiography, “My Feudal Lord,”

Raising Awareness of Abuse

After completing her divorce, the writer Tehmina Durrani was born. The autobiography, “My Feudal Lord” included clear descriptions of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Mustafa Khar. The book was one of the most successful and controversial in the history of Pakistan. Durrani’s family initially disowned her for disgracing them.

The marriage of Durrani and Mustafa Khar produced four children and many stepchildren. “My Feudal Lord” highlighted the torture and abuse suffered by the author. The book details the ability of Durrani to return to a normal life after divorcing her second husband.

A Career in Public Service

The success of “My Feudal Lord” came after publishers feared a legal backlash. “My Feudal Lord” was translated into 40 languages. The success led to a court battle over international publishing rights. The success of “My Feudal Lord” made the author an activist against government corruption. In her 40s, the age of Tehmina Durrani allowed her to be taken seriously by the public and press as she shared stories of corruption. Durrani coined the term accountability in Pakistan’s politics.

Durrani used her fortune of over $1 million to spend time working with Abdul Sattar Edhi. The humanitarian legend made Durrani a rusted confidant. Abdul Sattar Edhi narrated his memoir to Durrani. Five years spent working and living with the Edhi family led to the publication of the book, “A Mirror to the Blind.” The humanitarian work of the author continues to focus on women’s rights and children.

A Return to the Political Elite

After leaving the safety of the Edhi family, Tehmina Durrani did not shy away from controversy. The 1998 publication of “Blasphemy” returned the author to the news in Pakistan. Durrani explained the book is factual in its descriptions of corruption by Muslim clerics. The fictional book protects the women at the center of “Blasphemy.”

In 2003, the world learned more about Tehmina Durrani when she married the politician Shehbaz Sharif. The wedding ceremony in Dubai returned the Durrani to Pakistan’s political elite. Durrani has continued to move forward with her work as an activist by the side of her husband. The couple resides in Lahore and working to build a fairer society in Pakistan.

Women’s Rights and Acid Attacks

Many people know Durrani for her work on behalf of the victims of acid attacks. The First Lady made headlines for her battle to help women receive help after acid attacks. Durrani fought for the right of Fahkra Younus to receive treatment for acid burns.. Bilal Khar is the son of Durrani’s second husband and was blamed for the acid attack on Younus. Tehmina Durrani organized a passport and treatment in Italy for Younus. The work of Durrani included securing 30 surgeries to try and reverse the effects of the acid attack. Unfortunately, Fahkra Younus ended her life during her continued treatment. Tehmina Durrani continues to fight for the rights of children and women in her role as the First Lady of Pakistan. The best-selling author has become one of Pakistan’s most respected activists and campaigners.


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