Sherry Rehman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shehrbano Rehman
Sherry Rehman (cropped).jpg
25th Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
In office
23 November 2011 – 14 May 2013
President Asif Ali Zardari
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Husain Haqqani
Succeeded by vacant, Jalil Abbas Jilani
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
In office
31 March 2008 – 14 March 2009
President Asif Ali Zardari
Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani
Preceded by Kamar Zhaman Kaera
Succeeded by Muhammad Nasir Khan
Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
In office
31 March 2008 – 23 November 2011
In office
Assumed office
8 June 2015
Constituency Sindh Province
Personal details
Born Shehrbano Rahman
(1960-12-21) 21 December 1960 (age 56)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party
Other political
Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians
Spouse(s) Nadeem Hussain – 3rd husband[1]
Alma mater Smith College (1985)
University of Sussex
Occupation Political journalist; Diplomat
Cabinet Gillani Government
Religion Islam

Shehrbano "Sherry" Rehman, MP (Urdu: شہر بانو رحمان‎; born 21 December 1960), is a Pakistani liberal politician, journalist and diplomat who serves as the Senator from Sindh, in office since 2015.[3] Previously she served as Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States between 2011 to 2013.[4][5]

Born in Karachi, Rehman received her B.A from Smith College and her M.A in art history from the University of Sussex. In 1988, she joined the Herald as its editor and remained with the magazine until 1999. In 2002, she was elected to the National Assembly as a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party and sat on the opposition benches. She was re-elected in 2008, and became a member of the Federal Cabinet under Prime Minister Gillani as the Minister for Information.[6][7] During her membership of the house she authored the bill to repeal the Hudood Ordinances.[8][9][10]

She resigned from the cabinet in March 2009 over her opposition on the transmission ban on Geo News.[11] She went on to serve as the Chair of the Pakistan Red Crescent and founded the non-partisan think tank, Jinnah Institute. In 2010, she tabled a bill seeking to abolish the death penalty for blasphemy, as a result she was placed under police surveillance after receiving death threats.[12][13] In November 2011, she was appointed as the Ambassador to the United States and remained until April 2013.[14][15] In 2015, she was elected to the Senate and became the vice-president of the Pakistan Peoples Party.[16]

Early life[edit]

Born as Sherbano Rehman on December 21, 1960, in Karachi to a prominent Sindhi family, Rehman's father Hassanally A. Rahman, was a lawyer and educator and so was her paternal uncle Tufail Ali Abdul Rehman Zubedi, later Chief Justice of Sindh and Balochistan High Court. Her mother served as vice president of the State Bank of Pakistan—the first woman to hold the post.

Rehman attended the elite Karachi Grammar School receiving her A level from there, she moved to the United States where she studied at the Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she received her B.A in political science in 1985. She moved to the United Kingdom, where she received an M.A in art history from the University of Sussex.[10]


Rehman started her career as a journalist in 1987 with The Herald and in 1988 became its editor-in-chief, serving until 1998.[8]

Rehman joined Pakistan People's Party in 2000 on invitation of Benazir Bhutto in London.[17] Benazir nominated her to the National Assembly in 2002 and appointed her the party's principal spokesperson. Rehman served as an opposition member of the parliament.[18]

In March 2008, Rehman was re-appointed by declaration as MP from Sindh to the reserved MP seat for women. Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani appointed her as the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, and on 31 March 2008 she was sworn in by President Pervez Musharraf.[19]

During her tenure in parliament, Rehman authored all five PPP bills tabled in the National Assembly: the Women Empowerment Bill, Anti-Honor Killings Bill, Domestic Violence Prevention Bill, Affirmative Action Bill and Hudood Repeal Bill. She also moved two bills concerning the media: the Freedom of Information Bill and the Press Act, which prevents working journalists from being arrested under the 1999 Press Ordinance.[18][20]

In January 2009, a report of the International Republican Institute referred to her as "Democracy's Hero" as a result of her close association with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's campaign for democratic rule in Pakistan.[21] The reference, picked up by several Pakistani media outlets, received mixed coverage.[22][23] In the same month, Rehman was named among the "100 Most Influential Asians" by UAE magazine Ahlan.[24]

Rehman resigned her post as Information Minister on 14 March 2009, due to differences of opinion with the President Asif Ali Zardari on imposing restrictions on the media.[25][26] In 2013, Rehman was accused of committing "blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty" in Pakistan, "in connection with a 2010 TV talk show."[17] She was accused by Muhammad Faheem Gill, who went to the Pakistan "Supreme Court with his complaint after police refused to register it. The court ordered police in the central Pakistani city of Multan to investigate."[17][27]

On 23 November 2011, Rehman was named Pakistan's ambassador to United States following the resignation of Hussain Haqqani,[17] who was asked to resign by Prime Minister Gilani in the wake of the "Memogate" scandal.[28][29] On February 20, 2013, Rehman delivered a lecture on Pakistan-U.S relationship at the Harvard Institute of Politics, alongside Meghan O'Sullivan. During her talk, Rehman advocated for "positive changes in disposition to ensure a sustainable relationship."[30][31]

Published work[edit]

Rehman's latest book The Kashmiri Shawl: From Jamawar to Paisley, co-authored with Naheed Jafri, was published in 2006 by Mapin Publishing India and Antique Collectors Club UK. The book was nominated for The R.L Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for 2006 in the US.[32]


  • 2002: First Pakistani to be recognised with an award for independent journalism by the UK House of Lords in its Muslim World Awards Ceremony in the year 2002
  • 2006: R.L Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, for The Kashmiri Shawl
  • 2008: Presented the International Peace Award for Democrats by the Human Rights Commission
  • 2009: The title of "Democracy's Hero" by the International Republican Institute for her services to the restoration of democracy
  • 2009: 'The Freedom Award' Pakistan by the Association of Television Journalists for her work for media independence in Pakistan
  • 2011: Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award by The Women’s Democracy Network (WDN), Washington[33]


  1. ^ "Sherry Rehman". 1960-12-21. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Sherry Rehman ’85 appointed Pakistani ambassador to the U.S.". International Advancement Blog. Smith College. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ "PPP's Sherry Rehman elected Senator unopposed". DAWN.COM. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  4. ^ Walsh, Declan (22 January 2011). "Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's defiant prisoner of intolerance, vows to stay put" – via The Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Profile: Sherry Rehman, from journalist to ambassador - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  6. ^ Constable, Pamela; Constable, Pamela (2012-02-07). "Pakistan's new envoy brings liberal charm but faces slim chance for diplomatic thaw". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Pakistan's Sherry Rehman stands alone after colleagues' assassinations". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  8. ^ a b "Sherry Rehman - profile". DAWN.COM. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  9. ^ "Pakistan appoints liberal lawmaker as new U.S. envoy". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  10. ^ a b "Sherry Rehman to get prestigious Smith College Medal". The Nation. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  11. ^ "Profile: Pakistan's new US envoy Sherry Rehman". BBC News. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  12. ^ "BBC News - Pakistan appoints Sherry Rehman as new US ambassador". Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  13. ^ Walsh, Declan (2011-03-02). "Sherry Rehman next on Pakistan militants' hitlist, friends fear". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Coalition air strikes hit Yemen defence ministry: witnesses". Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. 
  15. ^ "Extraordinary Pakistanis: Sherry Rehman - The Express Tribune". 21 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "JI | The JI Team". Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  17. ^ a b c d Tanveer, Asim. "Pakistani man accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy". Reuters. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Associated Press Of Pakistan ( Pakistan's Premier NEWS Agency ) – Profiles of Federal Ministers". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  19. ^ [1] Archived 7 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "Senate of Pakistan". Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  21. ^ [2] Archived 21 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ [3] Archived 17 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ [4][dead link]
  24. ^ "President Zardari, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, Human Rights Activist Asma Jehangir and CEO Dawn Hameed Haroon, among 100 Most Influential Asians". 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  25. ^ Retrieved 14 March 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  26. ^ Retrieved 18 April 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  27. ^ "Ambassador from Pakistan: Who is Sherry Rehman?". AllGov. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  28. ^ "Sherry Rehman appointed Pakistan's Ambassador to the US – The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  29. ^ "Sherry Rehman appointed Pak Ambassador to US". 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 16 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  30. ^ "Pakistan Ambassador Hopes for Better Future | News | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  31. ^ Masood, Salman; Rosenberg, Matthew (2011-11-23). "Sherry Rehman Chosen as Pakistani Ambassador to U.S.". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  32. ^ "The Annual R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award,"
  33. ^ "WDN to Honor Frances Fragos Townsend and Sherry Rehman with 2011 Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award". Retrieved 2011-02-09. The Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award recognizes honorees for their commitment to increase women’s political and civic participation within their own communities and on behalf of women worldwide. A long-time board member of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the first woman to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Kirkpatrick was a strong advocate for women’s participation in politics. Her career in women’s political participation and foreign policy is an inspiration to women. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Qamar Zaman Kaira
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
Succeeded by
Muhammad Nasir Khan
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Husain Haqqani
Pakistan Ambassador to the United States