Nilofar Bakhtiar was Federal Minister for Tourism in Shaukat Aziz cabinate. She was member of Pakistan Muslim Legue (Q) She was born in the Districtt of Bannu (NWFP) and is 46 years old. Her family background is spread over four generations and has left deep impression in the areas of Social Work and Military Services.
She did her graduation from Punjab University and went on a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. Her career started as a Assistant Manager at PTDC (Pakistan Tourism Development corporation) and later served as the Acting Manager of Flashman Hotel Rawalpindi.
Ms. Nilofar Bakhtiar is a renowned social and political activist and has a twenty year experience, national and international activism & commands leadership of the poor and marginalized communities.
Ms. Bakhtiar is known for her communication skills in English and Urdu and was the most sought out figure in the print and electronic media when she was minister of tourism.
Begum Ali Malik, mother of Nilofer Bakhtiar, was a renowned social worker and was also the founder and chairperson of The National Committee for the Repatriation of POWs after the 71 war. At that time Begum Ali Malik went all over the world and met with Heads of State, and politicians including the Pope in Italy.
Nilofar got passionately involved in social work right from childhood.
President of the Women’s Wing of the Pakistan Muslim League in Rawalpindi. Appointed a member of the Central Working Committee in 1996. Imprisoned during Tehrik-e-Nijat after anti-government protests.
She serves on the board of numerous educational and civic bodies.
Ms Nilofar Bakhtiar is Married and has two sons and one daughter.
In April 2007, Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a Fatwa urging that she be punished and fired from the government after some newspapers printed photographs of her hugging and kissing a male colleague after landing from a parachute jump in France. The clerics stated that this was “an illegitimate and forbidden act, and that without any doubt, she has committed a great sin, and that Muslim women must stay at home and must not venture out uncovered.
Bahktiar described the hug as a congratulatory pat, after her parachute jump. “It was just a pat because he felt so proud of me, I did it for a good cause. I did not have any practice of parajumping. I thought it was brave on my part.”
Photos in the Pakistani ill mannered media showed Bakhtiar being helped by a male instructor during a charity parachute jump in France to raise money for victims of the devastating October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Another picture showed a woman (apparently Bakhtiar) hugging the instructor.
The Lal Masjid Sharia court decreed that Ms. Bakhtiar had committed an ?un-Islamic act? by hugging her French male coach for which she must be removed from the federal cabinet. The decree was issued at the request of ?a resident of Islamabad?, who sought the Islamic court?s views on the issue.
On May 21 2007, Nilofar Bakhtiar announced her resignation as Tourism Minister, over the parachute controversy. Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz rejected this resignation.
Ms Bakhtiar complained of a campaign of intimidation against her, and had told a Senate Standing Committee that her life was under threat. Ms Bakhtiar said she was disappointed by her Cabinet colleagues who had failed to stand by her.
Eye Witness: I was attending a seminar and behind me were some notorous media people while she was speaking and praising Pakistan these idiots were abusing her in Punjabi and making mokery of her, later same cheractors were bowing their heads to her and were acting as if they were the only people who respected her. This will possibly explain why the Parchute story came and how it was twisted against her by Pakistani media. (Jamal Panhwar)