Faryal Talpur was born in 1958 to a well-known Baloch family from Nawabshah, Sindh. Her father, Hakim Ali Zardari, was a former businessman and politician and was chief of the Zardari tribe until his death on May 24, 2011.
Talpur is the sister of Asif Ali Zardari and the sister-in-law of former premier Benazir Bhutto. She is married to Munawar Talpur and has been politically engaged with the Pakistan Peoples Party since the 1990s. She contested in the 1997 general election on PPP’s ticket but did not win.
Previously a district nazima (administrator)from Nawabshah, Talpur was elected unopposed from NA-207 (Larkana-cum-Shikarpur-cum-Kambar Shahdadkot) in 2008. The election for NA-207 had initially been postponed due to the assassination of Benazir who was to stand from this seat.
A younger sister of Zardari, Talpur has been described by her brother as a “tough and committed” woman.
A February 2009 confidential cable of the US embassy leaked by WikiLeaks revealed that Zardari in a conversation with the then US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson said he had instructed his son Bilawal to nominate Talpur as president in the event of his assassination.
The same cable referred to remarks made by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani who said Talpur “would be a better president than her brother”.
Since her election to the National Assembly on Benazir’s seat as well as on account of her relation with Zardari, Talpur’s political position has strengthened, especially within the province of Sindh.
She is currently president of PPP’s women wing and her name is being discussed for the party’s Lyari seat now that Nabeel Gabol will be standing as a candidate of Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
— Research and text by Saher Baloch