KARACHI: Often called the chief whip of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shireen Mazari has been appointed minister for human rights in the new federal cabinet.
A defence analyst and CEO of Strategic Technology Resources, Mazari has been a member of the National Assembly since 2013. She completed her bachelors from the London School of Economics and a PhD in political science from Columbia University.
Mazari has served as faculty member at Quaid-e-Azam University, director-general of a state run think-tank and the Editor of the Nation.
In 2012, after being served a show-cause notice for making ‘unfounded, incorrect, inaccurate and false statements’ about the party and its chairman, Mazari quit PTI. At the time she was the party’s vice president and cited political differences as the reason for her resignation. She said the party had been hijacked by ‘big money’.
She returned soon after in time for elections and was awarded a party ticket for a reserved seat for women in the National Assembly.
Upon returning she said her misgivings that “big money was taking over the party” were set aside in light of intra-party elections and the commitment the party’s worker and youth exhibited. She said she had never doubted Imran Khan’s ‘integrity or commitment’ and this had brought her back.
In 2017, when Ayesha Gulalai claimed Imran Khan had been inappropriate with her and propositioned her, Shireen Mazari held an all-women conference denouncing the allegations. She cited her own prominent position as proof that the party did indeed respect women and said that Gulalai was the one who had disrespected PTI’s women. Mazari’s daughter Imaan left PTI in 2012, her reasons included abuse by party workers and being called a ‘prostitute’.