Humaira Shahid – Devotion and Defiance

Humaira Shahid might have had a gilded life, and no-one would have blamed her. She was born into the privileged classes of Pakistan, enjoyed a happy and liberal childhood, and married well into a newspaper dynasty. The important men in her life adored her and admired her and encouraged her to fulfil herself rather than take the subservient role imposed on many Pakistani women. She became an academic, teaching literature, and that might have been that. But Humaira’s personal life contained a series of heartbreaking tragedies, and as she participated in her husband’s journalistic activities, she gained a first-hand knowledge of dreadful injustice and suffering in Pakistan. Driven by a fiery passion she became, first a campaigning editor, and then a vocal member of the Assembly in Punjab Province.

Devotion And Defiance is Humaira’s account of the course of her career. It is a fascinating insight into the workings of Pakistani politics, a rallying call to arms on behalf of the oppressed and brutalised women of Pakistan, and also a touching memoir of her own life.


About Johnny Mindlin

Johnny Mindlin, the producer, spent 10 years in high-end speech radio, producing book programmes, entertainment / review shows and politics/discussion shows. Tim Haigh is a radio presenter and broadcaster and books reviewer. He also writes for national papers on books and literature.
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One Response to Humaira Shahid – Devotion and Defiance

  1. asma siddiqi says:

    In her book “Devotion and Defiance,” Humaira Awais Shahid has portrayed herself as a firebrand who does not let any sexist remark go unnoticed and unchallenged. However, she is all praise for Pervez Musharaff who had commented (while he was ruling Pakistan) that women who want to emigrate to Canada falsely claim that they have been raped in order to get sympathy from immigration authorities. Humaira provides a detailed account of her discussion with Musharaff where they exchanged notes regarding the rape victim about whom Musharaff had made the sexist comment. Nevertheless she does not mention how she challenged his chauvinistic statement which had created an outrage among international activists. In fact, she skillfully presents Musharaff as a progressive man fighting for women’s rights. Therefore, her biography is a lesson in how to advance your own interests while ignoring the rights of others, especially women.

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