Farahnaz Ispahani

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Farahnaz Ispahani
Farahnaz Ispahani 2009.jpg
Spokesperson for the President of Pakistan
In office
President Asif Ali Zardari
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Major-General Rashid Qureshi
Majority Pakistan People's Party
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
In office
19 March 2008 – 25 May 2012
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 Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs, and Human Rights Committee

Farahnaz Ispahani (Urdu: فرحناز اصفهانی‎) (born 1963) is a Pakistani author, journalist, politician, and policy analyst. She is a former Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.[1] She is the author of "Purifying the Land of the Pure; Pakistan's Religious Minorities", which describes the problems and victimisation of religious minorities in Pakistan since its creation in 1947. Previously, she served as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and Media Advisor to the President of Pakistan from 2008 until 2012.[2]

Family and education[edit]

Ispahani was born in Karachi, and grew up in Karachi, Dhaka and London. She graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, majoring in political science.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5] 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 2008, Farahnaz Ispahani joined the National Assembly of Pakistan as a Member from the Pakistan Peoples Party, representing the Sindh province in the reserved seats for women.[6] She was a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, and the Human Rights Committee as well as Media Adviser to President Asif Ali Zardari.[7][8] In May 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended her National Assembly membership due to her dual possession of American nationality.[9]

In 2012, Ispahani was named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine.[10]


  1. ^ "Farahnaz Ispahani Staff Profile". The Wilson Center. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Pakistan blocks, restores Twitter". The Nation. Islamabad. May 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Several Year-End "Best Of" Lists Included Stories from the Wellesley College Community". January 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Richter, Paul (24 October 2008). "A Pakistani diplomat's delicate mission". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ http://www.voanews.com/english/About/2005-11-10-voa69.cfm
  6. ^ PakTribune http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?198177.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "William Hague meets NA Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Tribune Twitterati list: 140 characters of Pakistan". June 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ "SC suspends Farahnaz's NA membership". The News. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers". November 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]