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Zubaida Jalal Khan

Zubaida Jalal Khan
 
 
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Profile
Zubaida Jalal is a Pakistani teacher, libertarian, social activist, and politician. After successfully contesting in general elections held in 2002 on a PML(Q) platform, she came in national prominence and public fame as a leading woman minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. From 2002-07, she was the minister of Minister of Education (MoEd) and unsuccessfully contested for general elections held in 2008 on a PML(Q) platform.

After a five-year brief break from the national politics, she joined the Pakistan Muslim League and but stepped down in favour of Kiran Haider who successfully retained her seat in 2013 general elections, although she retains herself as a woman leader of the Pakistan Muslim League.

Biography
Zubaida Jalal Khan was born into a middle class family hailing from Mand village located in Kech District area of Balochistan Province of Pakistan, on 31 August 1959. Although, she got her primary education from Quetta where her father was working; she subsequently graduated from a Pakistani-run high school in Kuwait city, Kuwait, as her late father was working there. In 1981, she was admitted at the Balochistan University where she gained her BA degree in English composition in 1985; and MA degree in English literature from the same institution in 1988.

Social and political activism
Teachings and services to education
After returning from Kuwait, she helped established a school for girls in her village with the support of her father because in that time in such traditional conservative Baloch society did not allowed women to go to schools. While teaching at school, she also taught English literature at the Balochistan University. In 1993, her services were recognised by the Government of Pakistan and honoured her with Pride of Performance Award for Education by the President of Pakistan. She has authored many publications include Papers on Baloch Embroidery and Poverty alleviation.

Her political activism started after joining the centre-right Pakistan Muslim League (PML) led by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1988; but defected to dissident group in 2000. She successfully contested in general elections held in 2002, securing 44,177 voted from her NA-27 constituency. In 2002, she was appointed as the minister of Minister of Education (MoEd) and took oath from President Pervez Musharraf as part of the Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali's cabinet. She would later given extension and would continue served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Education ministry
In 2004, Zubaida Jalal announced that "all religious seminaries will now be involved in all mainstream education programmes." Approved by President Pervez Musharraf, the programme was in making the madrassa (seminaries) integrated with modern education reforms. Jalal personally had approved the ₨. 225-500 million from the government for 2003-04; all funding were jointly released by the US AID. Reforms were set to be carried out to change the school curriculum and many revival updates, deregulation of the textbooks were part of the program which was oversaw by the Zubaida Jalal.

Despite initiation and modernisation, the programme did not moved an inch, according to the media reports. The education ministry did not made no movement on seminary reforms and registration, with no related meetings scheduled and new no policy guidelines issued to government departments. In a media report published by Daily Times, the Education ministry failed in making the madrassa (seminaries) reforms successful in 2004. They asked the government to reopen madrassa registration for more people to benefit from the Madrassa Reforms Package. Approximately, ₨. 6 billion were set-aside for the reforms' first three years and the government gave an additional ₨. 225 million to four provinces, but the provinces failed to use the funds.

According to the officials worked under Zubaida Jalal's administration confirmed that no new policy on madrassa reforms had been prepared and the old policy was still intact. In 2009, educationist, Saleem Ali wrote a thesis in his book, "Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan's Madrassas", that " indeed all private and public schools, are still subject to government approval, whereas the madrassa programmes at present have no government oversight." The government's inability to impose the program and lack of interest in topics further diminished. The powerful clerics threatened the government upon which the federal education minister Zubaida Jalal immediately clarified that no chapter or verses relating to jihad or Holy War or shahadat (martyrdom) had been deleted from textbook and that the particular verse referring to jihad had only been shifted from the biology textbook for intermediate students.

According to the Education ministry, the major reason for this failure was the view of the madrassas that the project was part of an American agenda. Others maintained that there were "high level interests" which had hampered the process.Furthermore, majority of the funds were lost during a tug of war between the Interior ministry, Religious ministry and Education ministry which Zubaida Jalal led. This squabble was eventually resolved by a personal intervention of President Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

2008 general election campaign
In 2008, Jalal decided not to obtained the PML(Q) ticket, and instead contested in 2008 general elections as an independent candidate, from a NA-272 constituency. She concedead her defeat in 2008 general elections and secured only 33,564 votes, losing to Yaqoob Bizenjo of Balochistan National Party (BNP).

2013 general election campaign
In 2013, Zubaida Jalal endorsed PML(N) candidate Nawaz Sharif's bid for premiership. In a meeting with Nawaz Sharif, Jalal announced to join the PML-N, reposing full confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.
 
 
 
 
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