Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari, a former Pakistani politician, held the position of Federal Minister for Human Rights from August 2018 to April 2022. She is also known as the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Members of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Throughout her career, she has been associated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and has served as a member of the National Assembly since 2013.
Mazari’s academic background includes studying at the London School of Economics and obtaining a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She has held various academic and editorial roles, including being an associate professor at Quaid-i-Azam University, heading the university’s strategic studies department, and serving as the editor of The Nation newspaper.
In her political journey, Mazari has faced ups and downs within the PTI party. She joined the party in 2008, resigned in 2012, and rejoined in 2013. Her dedication to the party earned her the position of chief whip for PTI in the National Assembly.
In August 2018, Mazari was appointed as the Federal Minister for Human Rights by Prime Minister Imran Khan. During her tenure, she condemned the attack on the Karak temple by a mob and was vocal on human rights issues.
However, her political career has not been without controversy. In 2019, she criticized a leading newspaper, Dawn, for reporting on a terrorist attack in London, accusing the newspaper of pursuing an anti-Pakistani agenda. In 2020, she faced backlash for a tweet comparing French President Macron’s policies toward Muslims to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews. She later deleted the tweet and issued a clarification.
In May 2022, Mazari was arrested, but her release was ordered by the Islamabad High Court, which deemed her arrest unlawful. Subsequently, she resigned from the National Assembly on the orders of Imran Khan due to a Vote of No Confidence.
In May 2023, after facing multiple arrests and bail, Shireen Mazari publicly announced her retirement from active politics, citing personal reasons as the basis for her departure. Throughout her political career, Mazari has been both praised for her dedication and criticized for her statements and actions. Despite the controversies, she has left a mark on Pakistan’s political landscape.