KARACHI: Representatives of the civil society and leaders of political parties expressed their grief over the death of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Fauzia Wahab. All of them were unanimous in saying that not only has the country lost a vocal political leader, but an activist who also championed the cause of human rights, minorities and marginalised society.
Many leaders from PPP and also Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were present at the hospital when PPP Sindh’s information secretary, Waqar Mehdi, who, with Rashid Rabbani, announced the demise of Fauzia Wahab on Sunday.
She had been admitted to Orthopaedic and Medical Institute for the last three weeks. She had gone into a coma after a basic gall bladder surgery on Saturday.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, Minister for Sindh Information Technology Raza Haroon and Federal Minister Babar Ghauri were among the leaders who visited her at the hospital.
Babar Ghauri alleged that Wahab’s death was a consequence of doctors’ negligence. Memon said that it was at the discretion of the family members if they want take up the case or not. Remembering Wahab, PPP’s Saleem Khursheed Khokar said that her contribution for minority rights cannot be forgotten.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Sindh President Nadir Akmal Leghari said that Fauzia Wahab was a fierce political opponent. “She did not restrain herself from saying what she wanted to and was very logical,” he said.
Karamat Ali, of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, called Wahab an ‘enlightened lady’ who had worked for human rights since her student life and mobilised the people socially and politically.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Saleem Zia, Sindh’s secretary-general, recalled that he had met Wahab at a wedding a few months ago. “I had a friendly chitchat with her with the usual political arguments,” said Zia. However, Zia said that they had worked together in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, and found her to be a hardworking and dedicated leader. The general secretary of Awami National Party, Bashir Jan, also expressed grief on Wahab’s demise and called it a big loss for the party.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s Karachi chief and former MNA, Mohammad Hussain Mehanti, remembered Wahab as a very able woman who had a lot of political acumen besides excellent skills in writing and speech.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.