In this exclusive interview, we have the privilege of featuring Ms Hina Pervaiz Butt, a dynamic leader and one of the most distinguished female figures within PML-N. From the moment she entered the realm of politics, she has consistently taken centre stage in driving the party’s political initiatives. Her commitment and dedication have recently led to her appointment as the Youth Coordinator of PML-N in Lahore. Join us as we delve into Ms Hina Butt’s insights, experiences, and vision for the future in this illuminating conversation.
Horizon: Thank you Ms Hina for taking time out of your busy schedule.
Hina Pervaiz Butt (HPB): I would say thank you to your team for allowing me to be your guest and be part of the official publication of PML-N. I am a regular reader of Horizon and I commend the team for their outstanding work on this publication.
Horizon: Thank you for the kind words. For our readers, could you tell us who Hina Parvaiz Butt is?
HPB: I am a mother, a daughter, and a Pakistani citizen concerned for my fellow citizens, interested in politics solely to play my part in the betterment of society.
Horizon: How has your journey been as a female politician in the Punjab Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League, mainly?
HPB: I joined the party in 2013 and, before becoming an MPA, I worked on issues concerning gender, especially for women and girls. I had very close interactions with underprivileged women. The desire to be their voice at the highest available forums compelled me to join politics. My journey with PML-N and as an MPA in Punjab has been excellent. I am satisfied with my performance and believe in continuing to strive for betterment.
Horizon: Do you think PML-N provides equal opportunities without gender bias?
HPB: With the promotion of Maryam Nawaz as senior vice president and chief organiser of the party, I think all the doubts about PML-N’s vision for women’s empowerment should be laid to rest. Our party believes in merit, and women are given prominent positions based on their expertise and dedication. PML-N awards tickets to women to contest elections on general seats solely based on their work and presence in their constituencies. As a party, PML-N is evolving. It is considering suggestions for the political empowerment of women. You will see the difference yourself in the coming times.
fnawazHorizon: You have been an MPA in the Punjab Assembly twice. How has the experience been, and how do you rate your performance?
HPB: Being part of the largest legislative assembly in Pakistan has been wonderful. It has enabled me to play my part as a legislator for women’s empowerment, youth affairs, and other issues. I cannot rate my own performance. People are the judge of politicians’ performance, and I can only present mine in front of my constituents. From 2013–2023, I submitted the largest number of resolutions in the Punjab Assembly on different issues, the majority of which were adopted by the assembly. As an opposition member, I was one of the most active members raising questions during assembly sessions, holding the government accountable for their poor performance and making them rectify their mistakes.
Horizon: As a female politician, have you faced challenges like chauvinistic comments and disrespectful remarks by male colleagues? You also have been a victim of online trolling and even physical harassment in London. What do you have to say about it?
HPB: I have faced gender-based disrespectful remarks from not only male politicians but also from female political opponents. Online trolling and abuse have been introduced as a weapon by a certain political cult. It has no respect for differences of opinion and freedom of speech.
The incident of physical harassment you are referring to was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. I was with my teenage son when I was surrounded by supporters of a rival political party, who were shouting and abusing me. They also threw bottles and other things at me. The saddest part is that all this happened on our Independence Day. I was advised to report the incident to the police, but as our leader Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has always practised and urged patience, I decided to forgive those involved.
Horizon: You have worked with Mian Shehbaz Sharif and are close to PML-N’s Senior Vice President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz. How do you describe the experience?
HPB: It is challenging to work with both; both are result-oriented. Shehbaz Sharif emphasises task completion speed, while Maryam Nawaz builds a bigger team to complete tasks on time. I also wish to work with Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a three-time prime minister.
Horizon: Coming to your personal life, please tell us about your childhood and educational background.
HPB: I was born in the Mozang area of Lahore. My father is an entrepreneur and founded Waves Pakistan, the pioneers in deep freezers and refrigerators. I studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Kinnaird College, and later completed my BBA and MBA degrees from the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
Horizon: Is it true that you left medical college to pursue business studies?
HPB: Very few people know this. I must appreciate the homework team Horizon has done. My mother wanted me to become a doctor, but I always wanted to do business like my father. I was admitted to Fatima Jinnah Medical College on open merit. However, I soon realised medicine was not what I wanted to study. I left medical college to pursue my dream of studying business. After completing my MBA, instead of finding a job, I launched my clothing brand and worked hard to make it successful. After entering politics, however, I had to shelve my business, but I intend to return to it at some point.
Horizon: What are your hobbies and how do you spend your day?
HPB: I love to read, but due to intense political activity leading up to the upcoming elections, nowadays I get very little time for reading. I used to listen to music quite a lot but for the past two years, I have almost stopped listening to music.
Recently I developed an interest in studying the Holy Quran in depth and currently, I am taking classes to learn to read the Quran with Tajweed. This has helped me to evolve into a better person. Whatever time I get, I try to spend it with my Creator.
Horizon: You belong to a Butt family and Butts are famous for their fondness for food.
HPB: (Laughing) I am a true Butt who loves eating daal chawal, paaye, nihari, etc. But I also practice a healthy lifestyle. I am a regular gym goer.
Horizon: We have heard that you go to the gym even on Eid days.
HPB: That is an exaggeration. I go to the gym five days a week but I ensure that I maintain my health.
Horizon: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
HPB: I do not plan that far ahead. I only give my best efforts and leave the results to Allah. All I can say is that you will see a better version of Hina in five years.
Horizon: Ms Hina, thank you very much for your time. In the end, do you want to give a message to our readers?
HPB: As a female politician and youth coordinator, my message for all women and young people is to focus on education and work honestly in whatever field you choose and then leave the results to Allah. Allah is the only one who will give the best results for your efforts.