Washington: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Sherry Rehman, has resigned as Pakistani ambassador to Washington with immediate effect mostly owing to the fact that her appointment was a political one.
Sources privy to the matters confirmed her resignation quoting Pakistani embassy in Washington. Rehman has sent her resignation to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mir Hazar Khan Khoso. President Asif Ali Zardari had handpicked her for the slot. She was appointed as envoy to US on November 23. Rehman 2011 succeeding Husain Haqqani.Before her appointment in Pakistan’s US embassy, she was serving as federal minister for information and broadcasting. Rehman held that office from March 2008 until March 2009.
Back in the day, Rehman’s appointment, came as a surprise, for then commentators were expecting a apolitical figure having warm ties with Pakistan’s powerful army. Rehman, who had been a strong advocate of women’s and minority rights faced death threats for her calls to reform the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. She served as an Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from 2002 to 2007, where she acted as Central Information Secretary. During this time, she was also President of Policy Planning for the PPPP and served on the party’s Foreign Relations Committee.
In March 2008, Rehman was re-appointed by declaration as MNA for Sindh province to the reserved MNA seat for women. Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani appointed her Minister for Information and Broadcasting, and on 31 March 2008 she was sworn in by President Pervez Musharraf. 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.
In civil society, Rehman is the Chair of the Lady Dufferin Foundation Trust, reportedly the largest non-profit provider of women and children’s subsidised healthcare in the province of Sindh. 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. The reference, picked up by several Pakistani media outlets, received mixed coverage.In the same month, Rehman was named among the “100 Most Influential Asians” by UAE magazine Ahlan.
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.
In 2013, Rehman was accused of commiting “blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty” in Pakistan, “in connection with a 2010 TV talk show.” 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.”