Zardari and Sherry among ‘top Asians’

January 12, 2009

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 11: President Asif Ali Zardari, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, Human Rights Activist Asma Jehangir and Dawn Media Group CEO Hameed Haroon have been termed as four most influential Asians by a UAE-based magazine, Ahlan.

About President Zardari, the magazine notes that following the tragic assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto in 2007, “He led the party to victory in the elections and worked with former political enemies to force President Pervez Musharraf to resign. In September (2008), he was elected the President of Pakistan.”

For Ms Rehman, the magazine points out that “she is one of Pakistan’s most respected journalists, politicians and human rights activists”.

The “magazine also recognises Ms Rehman’s achievements in journalism, as a parliamentarian and as an active member of the civil society advocating equal political, social and economic rights for women. “As the editor of Herald, Rehman fearlessly exposed corruption in the government and became the first Pakistani to receive an award for independent journalism from the House of Lords. As a parliamentarian representing the PPP, Rehman moved several bills related to media freedom, women’s empowerment and human rights. She is the Chairperson of the Lady Dufferin Foundation Trust that provides healthcare to women and children and a founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.”

The federal information minister was also declared as ‘Democracy’s Hero’ by the International Republican Institute, last week. Ms Rehman has also won the International Human Rights Commission Award for her work for human rights and peace, while her book, The “Kashmiri Shawl” has received the R.L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award in 2006.

Terming Ms Asma Jehangir as a “Courageous Crusader”, the “magazine observes that the human rights activist “has dedicated her life to defending the rights of the marginalised sections of the society.”

Mr Hameed Haroon is profiled for his services for press freedom and for preservation of cultural heritage of the Sindh province.

—APP