Named to Time 100 thrice, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai exhibits phenomenal grit and inspires young girls everywhere. An assassination attempt by Islamic fundamentalists could not dampen her spirit, and she fought back with a bestselling memoir and won the Nobel Peace Prize as its youngest recipient, at 17.
Abdul Sattar Edhi was a Pakistani ascetic, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is credited with founding the Edhi Foundation, which operates a volunteer ambulance network as well as several animal shelters, orphanages, homeless shelters, and rehabilitation centres across Pakistan. He was often nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize during his lifetime.
Iqbal Masih was a Pakistani boy who brought to light the prevalence of bonded labor in Pakistan. Iqbal escaped his slavery, studied at the Bonded Labour Liberation Front, and helped liberate more than 3,000 Pakistani children from bonded labor. He was fatally shot at the age of 12. His life inspired the creation of many organizations like We Charity.
While fans named her Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian, social-media celebrity Qandeel Baloch made headlines when she was strangled to death by her brother for bringing dishonor to her conservative Muslim family. Qandeel was known for her outrageous antics, such as promising a strip-tease if the Pakistani cricket team won against India.
Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a Pashtun independence activist who opposed the British rule in India. A spiritual and political leader, Khan called for Hindu-Muslim unity in India and opposed the partition of India. Khan is still revered by many in India and Pakistan for his pacifist ideology. Many places in India are named in his honor.
Tehmina Durrani is a Pakistani author and artist. She is also a well-known activist for women's and children's rights. She came to prominence after writing a book about being abused by her famous politician husband, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, who she divorced. She actively supports the social rehabilitation of women. She later married politician Shahbaz Sharif.
Asma Jahangir was a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist. She was a co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. A lawyer by profession, she played a prominent role in the Lawyers' Movement and also served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. She was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz.
Jugnu Mohsin is a Pakistani politician and journalist. She was an independent member of the provincial assembly before joining PMLN in 2022. She studied law at the University of Cambridge and became a journalist. She has worked as an editor of The Friday Times and Good Times. She eventually joined politics. She is married to fellow journalist Najam Sethi.
Fauzia Ilyas is a Pakistani Dutch speaker and political activist. Born in Pakistan, she struggled with forced marriage and sexual abuse before managing to escape to the Netherlands. She now identifies as an atheist and is a campaigner for feminism, secularism, and atheist rights in Pakistan. She is currently married to a fellow atheist named Sayed Gillani.
Taimur Rahman is a Pakistani musician and political activist. He is best known as the spokesperson and lead guitarist of the famous progressive music band Laal. A fierce critic of religious fundamentalism and capitalist exploitation in Pakistan, Rahman won the Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Award in 2012 for his book The Class Structure of Pakistan.