Perween Rahman

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Perween Rahman
Perween Rahman interview.jpg
2011 interview screenshot
Born22 January 1957
Died13 March 2013(2013-03-13) (aged 56)
Cause of deathAssassination
OrganizationOrangi Pilot Project
Known forDirector of the Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi

Perween Rahman (22 January 1957, Dhaka – 13 March 2013, Karachi) was a Pakistani social activist, director of the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute. She was murdered on 13 March 2013.[1]


Perween Rahman was born on January 22, 1957 in Dhaka, then situated in East Pakistan. She moved to Pakistan as a teenager. She obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1982 at the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology,[2] and a postgraduate diploma in housing, building and urban planning in 1986 from the Institute of Housing Studies in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She worked at a private architecture firm before being recruited by Akhter Hameed Khan to become Joint Director of the Orangi Pilot Project in 1983, where she managed the housing and sanitation programmes.[3] In 1988, OPP was split in four organisations, and Perween Rahman became director of OPP-RTI (Orangi Pilot Project – Research and Training Institute), managing as well programmes in education, youth training, water supply and secure housing.[3]

In 1989, she founded the NGO Urban Resource Centre in Karachi[4] and was also part of the board of Saiban, another NGO dedicated to low-income housing, and OPP-OCT (Orangi Charitable Trust, the microfinance branch of OPP).

She was teaching at the University of Karachi, NED University, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, all located in Karachi.

She is the sister of author and teacher Aquila Ismail.

Murder and Investigation[edit]

On March 13, 2013, Parweeen Rehman was killed when four gunmen opened fire on her vehicle near Pirabad Police Station, ending her 28-year-long career for land and basic services rights for Pakistan's poor. Rehman has been an outspoken critic of the land mafias in Karachi and their political patrons.[1]

Ms Rehman had complained in the past that she had received death threats. At one point, some armed men stormed her offices and ordered her staff to leave.[1]

The prime suspect in the murder of Rahman was arrested during a joint operation conducted by Karachi and Mansehra police in Mansehra, Pakistan. The suspect Ahmed Khan alias Pappu Kashmiri was arrested in Mansehra.

The very next day, police killed a Taliban operative named Qari Bilal in an encounter and claimed he was the murderer, resulting in a closure of the case.

On April 15, 2014, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered authorities to conduct a fresh probe into Rehman's murder after a judicial inquiry had revealed that police officers had manipulated the investigation.[5][6]



  • Rahman, P., & Rashid, A. (1992). Working With Community: Some Principles and Methods.
  • Perween Rahman (2004). Katchi Abadis of Karachi: A survey of 334 Katchi Abadis.
  • Perween Rahman, 2009, Water Supply in Karachi, OPP-RTI.
  • Pervaiz, Perween Rahman & Arif Hasan (2008). Lessons from Karachi: The role of demonstration, documentation, mapping and relationship building in advocacy for improved urban sanitation and water services (Vol. 6). Earthprint.


  1. ^ a b c BBC News - Pakistan mourns murdered aid worker Parveen Rehman
  2. ^ a b c d e f CV as Board member of Saiban, submitted to Homeless International
  3. ^ a b IIED, Lessons from Karachi 2008
  4. ^ Arif Hasan, The Urban Resource Centre Karachi"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2019.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Main suspect in Perween Rahman murder arrested from Mansehra: police Dawn (newspaper), Updated 19 March 2015, Retrieved 15 February 2019
  6. ^ Tanoli, Ishaq (29 March 2018). "Five men indicted in Perween Rahman murder case". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  7. ^ UN-HABITAT FOR A BETTER URBAN FUTURE: Publication about Orangi Pilot Project
  8. ^ [1]

External links[edit]