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Shazia Marri’s journey from schoolteacher to federal minister

November 28, 2023

KARACHI: Former federal minister and central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Shazia Marri says she feels very good when people say “I resemble Indian actress Anushka Sharma”.

In a special talk with this scribe, she said people who were not familiar with the local culture should not be elected. She regretted that the bureaucracy did not come out of their drawing rooms, and therefore they did not know what was happening outside Islamabad.

Shazia said, “If I get the culture ministry next time, I will restore the film industry and make it a vibrant one.” Film is a medium, and India has used it well. “We also have to make purposeful films. Our artists have a lot of talent,” she added.

Former federal minister and central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Shazia Marri speaks during a session in the National Assembly in this image on November 5, 2022. — Facebook/Shazia Atta Marri
Former federal minister and central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Shazia Marri speaks during a session in the National Assembly in this image on November 5, 2022. — Facebook/Shazia Atta Marri  

The former federal minister said she started her career as a schoolteacher, and she enjoyed teaching children a lot. She said she was married off at a very young age.To a question, she said Karachi is a metropolitan city, and therefore, there are a lot of street crimes.

In response to a question, former federal minister said politics was not a bed of flowers, but a garland of thorns, and there were a lot of obstacles on the way. “If I start crying about the abuses and injustices done to me, I may not be able to move forward,” she added. “Many attempts were made to break me as a woman. I also faced harassment. I have seen very stiff opposition,” Shazia Marri recalled. She said she was well aware of the difficulties a woman faces while traveling in a bus.

“I have been against domestic violence and child marriages. I also hate men who consider women as fools,” she added.About joining politics, Shazia Marri said: “I have been in politics for 22 years. Shaheed Bibi [Benazir Bhutto] had said ‘Shazia, you should contest general election’.” Later, she made history by contesting election and winning a general seat from Sanghar [Sindh]. Later on, she also served as a provincial and a federal minister.

“My grandfather was among companions of Quaid-i-Azam. My father wanted me to become a politician, but I did not agree in the beginning,” she recalled. “Due to marriage at a young age, I wanted to devote more time to upbringing and education of my children,” she added.

Shazia Marri also hosted a television show. Even being a member of the provincial assembly, she took part in that show and talked about various issues for many years. “However, in the beginning, I never thought that I would become a federal minister,” she said and added that she always upheld ideology of the PPP.

Shazia Marri said when Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he had to get water from water tankers, he was made fun of. But, it was a reality that almost all people had to get water from tankers, and she too was getting water from tankers. “But I assure you that the time is not far away when tap water will be available in all Karachi houses,” she expressed her optimism.