Farahnaz Ispahani

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Honorable Right
Farahnaz Ispahani
Farahnaz Ispahani 2009.jpg
Assumed office
9 September 2008
President Asif Ali Zardari
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Major-General Rashid Qureshi
Member of Parliament to the Pakistan Parliament
Assumed office
19 March 2008
Constituency Sindh-XI
Personal details
Born Farahnaz Ispahani
Karachi, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan, USA
Nationality Pakistani, USA
Political party Pakistan People's Party (PPP)
Spouse(s) Husain Haqqani
Residence Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory
Alma mater Wellesley College
Profession Media administrator and political scientist
Committees Member, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs, and the Human Rights Committee
Religion Islam

Farahnaz Ispahani (Urdu: فرحناز اصفهانی‎) is a former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Politician, writer, Women & Minority Rights advocate, Farahnaz Ispahani is a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. She is a Pakistani politician who served as a member of Parliament and Media Advisor to the President of Pakistan. At the Parliament she focused on the issues of terrorism, human rights, minority rights and US-Pakistan relations. Ms. Ispahani spent the formative years of her career as a print and television journalist.[1] She is also PPP International Media Coordinator and chairperson for Pakistan Peoples Party Scholars Wing. She is married to Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, and is the granddaughter of Pakistan's first ambassador to the United States, Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani.[2] Her uncle, Zia Ispahani has also served as a politician and former ambassador for Pakistan. Ispahani was born in Karachi, and grew up in Karachi, Dhaka and London. She graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, majoring in political science.

Professional career[edit]

Ispahani spent two decades in journalism—both print and television—before entering politics. She worked in broadcasting, working with MSNBC, CNN, (ABC) and (VOA) assisting in the launch of new programs including CNN's Paula Zahn Now and Anderson Cooper 360°. In addition, she served as the Managing Editor and Executive Producer for the Voice of America Urdu language television program Beyond the Headlines.[3] She served as Editor Special Reports for the leading Pakistani news magazine The Herald, and was the Editor of Zameen, a magazine oriented toward Pakistanis living abroad. She is a regular contributor in The News, Pakistan's second largest English-language newspaper, Express Tribune and Daily Times.

Political career[edit]

In 2006, Ispahani working for the Pakistan Peoples Party under then-chair Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in its media relations department. She is Media Advisor to the Co-Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, Asif Ali Zardari.[4]

In early 2008, she took a reserved seat for women in Pakistan's parliament as a member from the Pakistan Peoples Party, representing the Sindh province,[5] and also serves as a spokesperson for President Zardari. She is a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs, and the Human Rights Committee.[5][6] In late May 2012, the Supreme Court suspended her National Assembly membership due to her dual possession of American nationality.[7] Ms. Ispahani was also chosen by Foreign Policy as a Top 100 Global Thinker for 2012


  1. ^ http://www.wilsoncenter.org/experts-list/all/all/all?title=ispahani
  2. ^ Richter, Paul (24 October 2008). "A Pakistani diplomat's delicate mission". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ http://www.voanews.com/english/About/2005-11-10-voa69.cfm
  4. ^ "Zardari has proved his mettle in a year: Farahnaz". Daily Times. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?198177
  6. ^ "Press Release". Press Information Department, Government of Pakistan. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "SC suspends Farahnaz's NA membership". The News. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 

External links[edit]