Iremember growing up in a house which echoed with my mother’s voice delivering speeches on female leadership, strength of womanhood and the power a women can instil not only in her own household, but how she with her forte can change the course of a nation. My mother, Syeda Saloni Bukhari , the starlet of Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf , began her political  career, not as a social elite, talking of change; but because 21 years ago she saw the leadership and ability in Mr Imran Khan, and believed his vision and ideology of change.

She resonated with his passion for raising the youth, especially the women of Pakistan, giving them identity and fighting for their rights as an equal part of the society. She was a warrior, and fought till the last day of her life, with integrity, respect, humility and honesty. She became a part of the politics, a very well-defined man’s world of our society, becoming the beacon and standard of feminism and elegance in politics, through her intellect, ability to stand for the truth and her leadership skills. She led with grace, while always taking the side-lines when it came to herself. Not wanting any power or claiming a title for herself, she kept working as the humble worker for the Tehreek, a vision and a dream that she lived for.

Through her journey with the party, she never lost hope, even through the darkest of times. Her vision and hope, compelled her to keep struggling for the sake of the millions of people who looked up at Mr. Imran Khan in the hope of justice. She had the inspiration of Naya Pakistan, standing beside Imran Khan, looking ahead, working day and night, sometimes on the peril of her existence. She went on never giving up, never despairing.

Through the hard times, especially when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, stood alone, with only its leader, she was the first of the women to hold its emblem up high; fighting against the narcissist and patriarchal governance system, something the country and its people had absorbed itself into. She continued to always speak with conviction, for she always knew that the day would come when the country would realise the necessity to change and shift to the ideology of Naya Pakistan.

It has been a year since she left us, but she gave me enough time to grow up, to know what her mission was and to carry it on from where she left it. We will always remember her as Syeda Saloni Bokhari, the standard bearer of Tehreek-e-Insaf. May you have the best place in heaven…Ameen


The writer is a member of the Punjab Assembly