Activity update


– Update: March 18th 2016

Perween Rahman was the Director of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), an internationally renowned architect, planner and social scientist.  She devoted her life for the development of impoverished neighborhoods within Pakistan and in other countries. She was a symbol of resistance and the voice of marginalized community.

On March 13th, 2013 – on her way home from work, assailants followed Perween Rehman’s car and shot her. She succumbed to bullets received on her neck.

With her passing, the society lost a brave social worker, activist and teacher. Her death was immense loss to people she protected and helped, and whom, she dedicated 30years of her life.

There was global condemnation of violence against a person of such international reputation. People across the globe have condemned this brutal act and heinous crime.

A petition was launched in July 2013 by Human Rights Organization of Pakistan and by prominent citizens of Pakistan.

It has been 3 years since Perween Rehman’s death, and many, many court hearings later, there has been no substantiated and conclusive response from police. No perpetrator of this crime has been brought to justice.

A petition letter to Prime Minister Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and to Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah with Urgent Appeal to Investigate Ms. Perween Rahman’s murder, requires your support.

We family, friends, colleagues and countless poor people, will be in gratitude of your support, in our cause of  bringing, perpetrators of crime of murder of Perween Rehman, to face the judiciary.

We demand, investigation commence, effective immediately. Thank you

Below is link to petition.  Use Internet Explorer to open the link.


– Update: March 15th 2016


The Rebel Optimist is a documentary about a Pakistani architect and urban planner Perween Rahman and her remarkable work for Karachi’s poor

Link below:



-Update: March 13th 2016

IN REVIEW:  Perween Rahman: Architect of Change by Subuk Hasnain

On the afternoon of March 13, 2013, architect and social activist Perween Rahman was on her way home from work in Orangi Town, a sprawling slum in Karachi’s northwest. When her car approached a flyover in a neighbourhood called Banaras, four masked men attacked her with automatic weapons. Rahman died before she could reach a hospital.

Why would someone kill a human being who had dedicated her life to assisting the poor, who believed that there was a solution to all our civic problems and who believed in taking the first step towards finding that solution? Three years after her death, there is still no answer to this question. Even the identity of her murderers remains unknown. A deep silence – and a sense of frustration – has descended upon her colleagues, friends and family as far as the reasons and the circumstances of her killing are concerned. The focus of their conversations, instead, has shifted to Rahman herself — to celebrating her life and to promoting the work that she had devoted her life to. Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist also does just that.

The documentary meticulously puts together her life through archival footage, director Mahera Omar’s own interviews with her, photographs and oral testimonies of more than half a dozen people whose lives she had touched, directly or indirectly, while living and working in Karachi. It brings out the warmth that defined Rahman’s personal relationships with her siblings and her long-time associates. It simultaneously also highlights her contribution as the director of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) in improving the lives of the poorest of the poor in Karachi.

The film opens with Anwar Rashid, Rahman’s best friend and colleague, travelling to Orangi in a car escorted by the police as an ominous reminder of the dangers she faced during her work. He is one of the main narrators in the documentary as is Rahman’s sister Aquila Ismail who is also its co-producer.

“Someone has got to do something,” she is shown in the documentary as saying. That Rahman became that “someone” without seeking any recognition or reward for herself is what the documentary seeks to convey.
After meeting Rahman for the first time back in the 1980s, Rashid admits, he thought she would not manage to stick around for too long: she could barely speak a coherent sentence in Urdu and had never ventured out into the streets of Karachi except for her thesis work in Quaidabad neighbourhood. He was also not sure if she had social skills required to deal with people – hobbled by misery and frustrated by their lack of resources – who could be sometimes blunt and abusive. But the rebel and the optimist that she was, she proved him wrong. She took on all these challenges and came up with solutions to deal with each of them. For one, she mapped out every lane in Orangi in her diary so that she could navigate the neighbourhood if and when not accompanied by Rashid.

As Rahman developed a sanitation programme for the utterly chaotic neighbourhoods of Orangi from the scratch, she also took it upon herself to map out rural settlements across Karachi. She believed that the authorities would not pay much attention to an area if its presence was not documented.

The poor living in unmapped areas, she rightly feared, also risked losing their land to mega development projects – such as roads and flyovers – and posh residential and commercial schemes.

These were, however, just two of the multiple interests and concerns that occupied the protagonist of Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist throughout her life. The documentary, in fact, records everything that her life revolved around — from her love for the sea and the beach to her worries about environmental pollution and climate change, and from her focus on the issue of water theft in Karachi to her efforts for the relief and rehabilitation of flood victims.

Many in the non-government sector in Karachi believe Rahman was targeted for her work on land use in and around the city and for her opposition to illegal water hydrants that steal water from the poor. The police claim she was killed by the Taliban who were reportedly incensed by her work for the economic independence of women. Omar stays away from making any conjecture, let alone launch her own investigation into Rahman’s assassination.

As the title of the documentary suggests, the director instead focuses on finding out the sources for Rahman’s rebellion against social,cultural and economic straitjackets that keep people mired in poverty and squalor, and those for her optimistic belief that there can be solutions to these problems. “Someone has got to do something,” she is shown in the documentary as saying. That Rahman became that “someone” without seeking any recognition or reward for herself is what the documentary seeks to convey and it manages to achieve its objective quite successfully.

Omar refuses to raise the pitch and alter the tone even when these transitions involved such dramatic events as migration from Bangladesh to Pakistan at an early age and her daily commute – initially without a car – from the posh comfort of her home to the sewage strewn streets of Orangi.

The strength of Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist lies in its linear, no-frills attached narrative. It does not judge, let alone dramatise and sensationalise. No spectacular background score, no fancy camera work, no play with light and shade here.

The documentary actually understates its contents – including Rahman’s murder mentioned in passing a few times and never shown through bullets flying and blood spilling. That, perhaps, is because of the subject matter: Rahman was nowhere close to being a flamboyant person; more of a recluse, she went about casually and silently doing the very unglamorous work of providing sanitation facilities to slum dwellers. The documentary, therefore, avoids idolising her personality and romanticising her work.

Rahman is not shown to be a larger-than-life character trying to achieve miracles. It, instead, successfully suggests how a regular individual can achieve a lot by sheer focus and determination.
The film also highlights – though in deliberately subdued tones – Rahman’s humaneness: her eagerness to learn, her love for nature and animals and her close relationship with everyone in her life – from her brothers and sister to those who worked with or under her.

She is shown as a careless school girl who matured fast and achieved top grades in university. From showing glimpses into her childhood and retelling anecdotes from her school days to recording her early travails as an activist separated from the place and the people she chose to work for by language and class barriers, the documentary portrays Rahman’s life as a series of effortless transitions. Omar refuses to raise the pitch and alter the tone even when these transitions involved such dramatic events as migration from Bangladesh to Pakistan at an early age and her daily commute – initially without a car – from the posh comfort of her home to the sewage strewn streets of Orangi. The result is a subtle portrayal that appeals to the mind rather than the heart of the audience.

Ultimately, Omar’s film manages to capture something else: she conveys as if her subject is still present amid people talking about her life and work in the documentary — that is, until her absence starts becoming painfully obvious through poignant reminisces by her family, friends and coworkers. This quiet intensity binds the documentary and Rahman together.

Also read: Tapping into trouble

Also read: Who should the next biopic be based on?

Perween Rahman: Architect of change


– Update: March 11, 2016

On March 13th. 2016
National Public Radio, NPR, Nevada is broadcasting – in memory of Perweem Rehman

Pacific times and channels listed below:

KCNV:  6:40am, 10:40am, 2:40pm & 7:59pm –approximately

KNPR:  6:39am, 10:39am, 3:20pm & 7:19pm — approximately


– Update: March 11, 2016


Screening: Sunday the 13th of March 2016
Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Venue: T2F – Karachi

Perween Rahman (22 January 1957, Dhaka – 13 March 2013, Karachi) was a Pakistani social activist, director of the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute. She was murdered on 13 March 2013.

Join us at T2F for a documentary screening, which narrates an intimate portrait of Pakistani architect and urban planner Perween Rahman and her remarkable work for Karachi’s poor.

“No one is safe in this city. Those who think otherwise are living in a fool’s paradise”, says Perween’s best friend and colleague Anwar Rashid as he navigates the chaotic roads of Karachi.

An architect and urban planner, Perween Rahman dedicated her life for the poor of Pakistan. She was shot dead by armed assailants on her way home in March 2013. When she joined the Karachi based Orangi Pilot Project, founded by Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, Orangi’s lanes were full of filth and choking gutters.

Back in the early 80s, the people of Orangi, most of them migrants from India and Bangladesh, were taking their own steps to improve sanitation. Dr. Khan assigned Perween the task of developing a low cost sanitation model for Orangi.

Perween’s pioneering work in Orangi led her on a collision course with the various mafias in the city. She surveyed the water supply to Karachi and pinpointed locations from where water is being stolen from the bulk supply lines.

She mapped and documented Karachi’s informal settlements to provide the poor security against land grabbers. Perween had an alternate vision for the development of Karachi.

“Development doesn’t come from concrete. Development is not five star hotels and mega road projects. What we need is human development.”

Produced by: Aquila Ismail & Mahera Omar
Directed by: Mahera Omar
Edited by: Talha Ahmed

The screening of the documentary will be followed by a short Q/A session with the Film Crew.

Entry: Free! (Donations are appreciated!)



– Update: August 1st, 2015

To Commemorate Perween Rehman


ARTS AUDITORIUM, KARACHI PAKISTAN:  Perween Rehman of Orangi Piolt Project gave her life fighting for  rights of poor, in particular, right to livelihood and homeland.

We the Teachers Against War and Oppression, Karachi University are organizing a series of events from August 3rd to 6th to commemorate Perween, and highlight  atrocities committed in the name of development, violence enacted against activists, and to see, inquire and act to form a resistance demanding development for the poor.

Event Program

August 3: Workshop for students/artists by Feica R-a
The first event takes place on Aug 3, 10 am – 4 pm at Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences Gulshan-e-Iqbal where renowned artist Feica holds a workshop on art for students/artists on the theme of development/violence/peace. Those interested in attending the workshop contact Riaz Ahmed at 0322-2990708

– August 4: Qafla (field trip)
‘Yahan Say Karachi ko Daikho (Seeing Karachi)’ guided by writers/activists that will take you to Malir River/LayariRiver/Mangrooves Forest to help you make your point of view on development and its affects.

– August 6: Art Exhibition
Organised by artist/teachers Shahana Rajani and Zara and Feica to exhibit various maps of villages and goths now under attack by land-developers and art-work of artists/students on development/violence/peace. 10am-12noon at Arts Auditorium, Karachi  University

– August 6: Seminar
Come and listen to renowned scholars/development-activists such as Arif Hassan, Aquila Ismail, Gul Hassan Kalmatti, Faisal Siddiqui and Tasneem Siddiqui speak on development, Parveen Rahman, land-developers and resistance from 12noon to 2pm at Arts Auditorium Karachi University

– To book your place for the Workshop/Qafla please call Riaz 0322-2990708 or send an sms with your name/number and interest.Seats are limited and will be provided on first cum first serve basis.


– Update: March, 9th 2015

Celebrating Perween’s Legacy

All friends are invited to the event on 9th March 2015, 3:00:p.m at SZABISTAuditorium, 90 Clifton, Karachi.

Perween’s mentors, Arif Hasan and Taneem Siddiqui, friends and colleagues Zohra Yousuf and Anwar Rashid are to speak of her work and life.   Thank you friends for your support as we continue to pursue justice for Perween.



– Update: 31st December 2014

Why should Karachi follow the model of Dubai?

KARACHI: Parween Rehman`s case is important for the survival of the Orangi Pilot Project and for all of us too. How many things are we going to forget? Are we going to forget this murder also?` Advocate Faisal Siddiqi asked while speaking at the 15th Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan Development Forum at the National Institute of Management on Tuesday.

The forum was arranged to remember the pioneer of rural development work in Pakistan, Alchter Hameed Khan, and his protégée Parween, who was killed in March last year. Friends and associates remembered both with equal affection but the mere mention of Parween`s murder broughttears to many eyes.

To commemorate Parween`s life and her work a documentary was shown that was made during the Sahil Bachao Tehreek, a battle for Karachi`s waterfront in 2007. The documentary comprised Parween`s interviews speaking about the continuing encroachment of the sea and being up for sale. In one clip she said, `Water has a therapeutic effect on anyone going through stress or depression. I don`t understand the need to put benches and walking track near the sea.

In Karachi the sea is used for dumping 340 million gallons of industrial and sewerage waste through various pipes. We can control the smaller pipes leading to the sea. But for the bigger ones, we need government help.

She went on to say that everything is for sale in Karachi, including the sea. `There`s no encroachment where the sea is concerned but it is being sold. The evidence of it was seen in the 2006 torrential rains in Karachi, where DHA went under water. When you sold the land meant for the sea, the water redirects towards the societies, because it needs a route to flow. When you mess with the sea, it takes its revenge,` she added politely.

Speaking about the skewed notions of development, she said, `I don`t see construction of a hotel as development. Why should Karachi follow the model of Dubai? Karachi should first become Karachi.

Clip after clip, Rehman was shown speaking about development, the need for people to come together to help each other, and most importantly to take the government on board.

When she started working for the OPP in 1981, her first assignment was to start from a lane from where took the project forward. By 1984, people from other streets started coming to her after witnessing her work in other areas.
Investigation needs to be broadened Taking the government`s help where needed and bringing the people around to work for the community are two of the biggest strengths of the OPP. This trait was inculcated by OPP founder Akhtar Hameed Khan and followed by Parween. Her 28-year long career is the proof of leading by example until it ended on March 2013. She was being driven home around 7:30pm from Pakhtun Market, Manghopir Road, when two gunmen on a motorbike shot her. Though she was soon taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Kamran Sheikh, the attorney in Parween`s ongoing case in the Supreme Court, while narrating the incidents of the ensuing months said, `I got her case in July 2013 and since the beginning I sensed the Sindh gov-ernment`s hesitation and the Sindh police wanting to shut the case. Because two days after her death, a man named Qari Bilal was killed in an encounter, which according to the police was the man behind her murder.

He added that the police made this assertion after finding similar spent bullets from the site of her murder.
Sheikh added that Parween`s case was of the utmost importance for the Supreme Court. `Our pleas for talcing interest in her case were taken seriously only after an OPP director survived an attack on his life in February 2014.` Soon after, inquiries were made and Qari Bilal`s involvement in the case was looked with suspicion by the SC.
Sheikh added, `The investigation into Parween`s case needs to be broadened to include possible groups and people whose interest was in Gadap and Northern Bypass, areas she was working to resettle.

At the moment, DIG CID Sultan Khwaja is the special investigation officer in Parween`s case who was appointed by the SC in April 2014. In July, Khwaja was further notified by the SC to be a part of the Joint Investigation Team, with officials of ISI, FIA and Sindh police investigating the case.

Sheikh further said that in one of the hearings by the SC, `the court asked the officials investigating the case to report in confidentiality rather than filing documents because it might be thwarted by powerful elements.
Lawyer Faisal Siddiqi said, `Parveen is powerful even after her death. It is evident by the fact that this case is being supported by individuals who don`t want the case to close down. We are willing to put up a long fight.

Speaking about Parween`s sister, Aquila Ismail, he said that it was heartening to see her present in every proceeding. `She still asks me though: `Why was it necessary to kill her, kya sirf dara nahi saktay thay?“ added Siddiqi.

Information above and image of publication of this article below,  is extracted from:



– Update: December 2014

Mahera Omar

Collage of images is prepared by film maker Ms. Mahera Omar

Akhtar Hameed Development Forum

– Date: December 30th 2014
– Time: 10:00am
– Venue: NIPA Auditorium, University Road, Karachi

– This event is a annual event. This event was organized by Ms. Perween Rehman and her colleagues of Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) for thirteen years. Mr. Akhtar Hameed Khan was Ms. Perween Rehman’s mentor

– The afternoon session will be devoted to understanding Ms. Perween Rehman’s work with poor.

– OPP’s partner organization and development activists from all over Pakistan will be in attendance.

– Detailed program will be posted near date.

– Attendance is free. Please message this page if you want further information.

– Thank you all for your continued support.


– Update December 2014

Founders Day Forum

– Dawood College of Architecture is holding an event called “Taking Architecture to the People”, inspired by Perween Rahman’s work.

– Date: December 14th 2014

– Time: 1600 hours to 1800 hours

– Venue: Dawood College, Gulshan campus behind National Stadium

All are invited to attend.  All are invited to contribute to discussions

– First session:  A discussion on taking architecture to  people, inspired by Ms. Perween Rahman’s work..  Mr. Arif Hasan has agreed to conclude with “The Way Forward”.

– Second session:  Is a tribute to Amin Shaikh sahib to be presented by the students. Noman Ahmed will speak on the event


– Update

Perweeen Rehman 08

– Perween Rehman, a Pakistani advocate of poor, urban developer, an architect, a teacher,  known nationally and internationally, for her selfless and relentless humanitarian work for the past 30 years was murdered on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013  in Karachi, Pakistan,  by assailants, yet to be identified.

– Perween Rehman’s relentless philanthropic work, in support of underprivileged has been extensively chronicled by western media. – Perween Rehman is lost to millions of people, who depended on her expertise in Pakistan and in many other countries, such as, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nepal, Namibia, Indonesia, Philippines  and more.

– Invited speaker to several European countries, Central Asian countries, Africa and United States.  Perween was considered the world’s foremost expert in urban development.

– In memory of Perween Rehman and to continue her work Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR), Bangkok, Thailand, had initiated a fellowship program, Perween Rehman Fellowship.  This fellowship program has recently offered students from Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Vietnam, Mongolia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia and Fiji.

– Perween Rehman Fellowship program will continue to provide education to persons who after learning will provide service to poor and under-privilege of this world.

– For further information on Perween Rehman Fellowship program, visit link below:


Update: August 15th 2014

Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report: JIT’s inefficient and casual behavior is noted in their narrative, excerpt as under:
According to the JIT progress report,”The police will continue to cooperate with Perween Rahman’s children and the office bearers of Orangi Pilot Project to collect evidence”. Perween Rehman did not marry nor did she have children.


– Update July 9th 2014

The arc of history is long but it always bends towards justice, we continue to seek justice

Dissatisfied with report submitted by Sindh police, Supreme Court of Pakistan, has ordered commission of a Federal Joint Investigation Team (FJIT), so that impartial investigation be commenced. FJIT is to present it’s finding’s to the court in four weeks time.


– Update July 7th 2014

The next hearing of the Supreme Court on petition for Justice for Perween is on 10 July. The esteemed Justice Nasir ul Mulk, is now Chief Justice of Pakistan. We have the utmost confidence that Perween will get justice.  Thank you all for your continued  support.


– Update June 22nd 2014

Slowly but surely we move towards Justice for Perween.

Supreme Court hearing on our petition is to be held on Wednesday 25th. The police is expected to file report on investigation it has conducted since the last hearing.


– Update June 6th 2014

At long last the police have admitted that no investigation was carried out. The question is, by placing blame on Qari Bilal,who are they protecting. and why? Therein lies the answer to the brutal killing of  Perween Rehman

“The technical analysis in a case is very important and we will get some of the technical details from the investigation officer,” said Khawaja [ DIG CIA, Sultan Ali Khwaja ] at the end of the meeting. “We will try to get more data from related departments for geo-fencing.” … “We must know the motive and reason behind Rahman’s murder and the attack on Alimuddin so we can be careful. Right now, it is a blind case


– Update: June 4th 2014

We continue to hope for justice as we move slowly but surely towards it.

Perween Rahman murder: SC takes a dim view of sluggish progress in probe.   Supreme Court has summoned Deputy Inspector General Police CIA Karachi Sultan Ali Khowaja on Wednesday the 10th of June 2014, questioning why progress has not been made in the investigation into the murder of social activist and rights champion Perween Rahman.

A three-judge bench of the court, headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk, expressed disappointment over the Sindh police’s investigation while hearing a petition filed by 12 civil society groups, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler), on Tuesday.

During the hearing, SP Investigation West Zone Karachi Malik Muhammad Ehsan said, that Sindh police have registered the case under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997. When asked what progress had been made to date, the police officer said DIG CIA Karachi Sultan Ali Khawaja, who is supervising the investigation, is out of the country. While the bench expressed its dissatisfaction with this response, Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmad expressed annoyance over Ehsan’s lack of knowledge on the case, saying, “You are not competent to work as an SP Investigation and why have you not been sent to jail yet?”


– Update: May 26th 2014

We continue to believe that the arc of history always bends towards justice.  Perween found hope in the most dire circumstances. We have to continue to hope for justice.

Every effort has been made by the Sindh police to cover-up the matter and the petitioners have been running from pillar to post for a fair and impartial investigation, the petition states.  Expressing his dissatisfaction over the new JIT, the petitioner’s counsel demanded that the team should be headed by an officer belonging to a federal investigation agency.


– Update: May 25th 2014

Petition: We hope to get a hearing on 3 June and press for a Federal Joint Investigation Team. As always please keep us in your thoughts for a successful outcome.


– Update: May 7th 2014

The court  hearing could not be held due to an ongoing full court bench. However, because of our applications to the esteemed Supreme Court and the report of the Judicial Commission, local police have reopened the case under ATC, as we had demanded, and are re-investigating with a new team . They profess that they will submit the results of the investigation to the Supreme Court in a month. We are going to contest this team as we want the Federal Authorities to investigate the brutal crime. How can the police who covered it up in the first place uncover it now is our contention. A new date for the hearing is awaited.  As we slowly, but surely, inch towards justice for Perween, we thank our friends for their support.

Indeed, ‘ When red flowers blossom on the branches, we will meet…’

Perween  Anis3




– In Memory of Perween Rehman

March 13th, 2014

KNPR 88.9 and KCNV 89.7 NPR (Nevada Public Radio) are broadcasting in memory of Perween

Text here under: Perween Rehman advocate for the 2 million impoverished people of Pakistan, assassinated March 13th, 2013 in Karachi. “She dedicated 30 years of her life in service of the poor and Dr. Khair reflects that “her loss is felt not only by her family but also by the millions of underprivileged in many parts of the world, who depended on her.” More information on Perween’s lifework at


– In Memory of Perween Rehman

Dear Friends, it has been a year since our beloved Perween Rehman was brutally murdered in Karachi. We are gathering on 12th March 2014 at the Urban Resource Center in her memory.

Please join us in sharing your memories of her life and work.

Date: 12 March 2014
Time 6:00 p.m to 8 p.m
Venue: Urban Resource Center, A-2, 2nd Floor, West Land Trade Centre,
Commercial Central Area,
Karachi Administration Cooperative Housing Union,
Block-7&8, Shaheed-e-Millat Road,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: 92 21 4559317

Thank you and regards: Arif Hasan, Anwar Rashid, Tasneem Siddiqi, Aquila Ismail, OPP Team


– Perween Rehman T2F Lecture Series

Links to Media coverage and Photographs

March 11th 2014, Dawn: Perween Rehman’s devotion to social service, recalled

March 9th, 2014, Dawn: Celebrating Perween Rehman:  A Symbol of Resistance

T2FMarch 9th 2014 1 T2FMarch 9th 2014 2 T2FMarch 9th 2014 3 T2FMarch 9th 2014 4 T2FMarch 9th 2014 5 T2FMarch 9th 2014 6 T2FMarch 9th 2014 7 T2FMarch 9th 2014 8 T2FMarch 9th 2014 9


ACHR Perween Rehman Fellowship


Now open for Perween Rahman Fellowship Program

Apply before April 30th 2014

For more information visit link below:


– Perween Rehman Lecture Series: 

Date: March 8th 2014

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: T2F

The 4th lecture of this series will be held on 8th March at 7:00 p.m. at T2F.

Ms. Zubeida Mustafa, Ms. Zohra Yusuf, Ms. Tasneem Siddiqui and Ms Aquila Ismail will be discussing the immense risks faced by women who work for the poor and how this can be addressed. Thank you all for your continued support


Seminar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] , Boston USA

Date: April 11-12, 2014

Venue: MIT Boston, USA


Sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT


– Perween Rehman Course on Housing and Community


Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi,

is offering  Perween Rehman Course on Housing and Communityto its third year students from March of 2014.

Perhaps, this will inspire young professionals to work towards a more equitable society, where poor are given right to adequate shelter, clean water and healthy environment.


The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights: Perween Rehman Fellowship 


Perween Rehman Fellowship for Community Architects: The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, based in Bangkok, Thailand in a board meeting , approved a Fellowship Program for Community Architects in Asia to be called ‘Perween Rahman Fellowship for Community Architects.’ A total of 10 fellowships will be offered each year to architects working in the low income settlements of Asia.


– November 22nd 2013

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Demonstration held on 22 November in front of the Islamabad Press Club demanding hearing of our petition for justice in the Supreme Court. The demonstrators are development activists who worked with Perween over the years.
We appeal to all our friends to let the courts know, in whatever manner they can, that we want accountability.

Contact information for the Supreme Court :

Supreme Court of Pakistan,

Constitution Avenue,

Islamabad, Pakistan

Telephone: 051-9220581-9220600
Fax: 051-9213452

Email :


– September 23rd, 2013


Attached petition document:




c/o Mr. Fayyaz Baqar, House No. 25, Street 21, F-7/2, Islamabad – 44000.






– September 21st, 2013


Praising the efforts of late Parveen Rahman, a long-term director of the Orangi Pilot Project, Pakistan Peoples Party Sindh general-secretary Taj Haider announced that all remaining villages will be given lease documents soon by the provincial government. “She silently worked on rural development. Her efforts can’t be ignored.”…‘People and the Land: Empowering Communities for Social Justice – Rural Karachi’, organised by Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE) in August 2013.

The image shows Perween with the maps she developed, through google earth and physical verification,which quantified for the first time the existence of 2000 plus ‘goths’ (villages) in the rural periphery of Karachi. This prevented the land mafia from evicting the residents and taking over the land. Perhaps, in so doing she tread on powerful toes.

Facebook comments

Ata Kalim I do not think she would have wanted the illegal ‘goths’ to get leased.

Aquila Ismail Ata Kalim: How can the goths, in the rural periphery of Karachi, where people have lived for decades be illegal??

Waqar Hussain It is a cause worth fighting for…Perveen Rahman was doing such an important work. The struggle to get “justice for perveen rahman”is going on at the margins, away from the media spotlight. Unfortunately, issues such as environment, urban planning, rural development have not yet made it to our mainstream discourse. Equally sad is the fact that the people living at the margins, on the periphery, in the slums, are considered the children of lesser God. It is these hapless people that Perveen Rahman lived for and died for…She was such a soft,eloquent voice for the voiceless…Her death shall not have been in vain..


– September 19th, 2013

Supreme Court Petition Information

Our plea before the Supreme Court

…. she had extensive knowledge of the activities of the land mafia in Karachi and that she had refused to abandon her social work despite continuous threat to her life for many years, as a result of which she had become a symbol of resistance against the growing activities of the land mafia. Her murder has contributed to further expansion of the activities of the land mafia across various slums and goths lying on the fringes of Karachi, including Orangi Town, where impoverished households are facing threats of eviction, and has dealt a severe blow to the humanitarian activities being carried out by social workers in the impoverished neighborhoods of the largest city of Pakistan.
…. That under Article 9 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, the state is responsible for providing protection and safety to the life and liberty of all citizens, but in the present case the state has not only failed to provide security to the deceased but has also failed to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the offence, thereby shattering the confidence of citizens, who are facing the onslaught of powerful land mafias, in the writ of the state, and boosting the confidence of land mafias and other criminal elements involved in violation of the Fundamental Rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

The State is duty bound to protect and safeguard all Fundamental Rights including the right to life and liberty as envisaged by Article 9 of the Constitution, which includes protection against atrocities, target killings, homicide etc., …

In view of the submissions made herein above, it is most respectfully prayed that for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights of citizens embodied in Articles 9 and 10A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, this Hon’ble Court may graciously be pleased to issue appropriate directions for the constitution/appointment of a Commission headed by a Judge of this Hon’ble Court to investigate the incident of target killing of Ms. Parveen Rehman, internationally renowned social worker and Director of Orangi Pilot Project, registered as FIR No. 104/2013 lodged at Police Station Peerabad under Sections 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.


– September 19th, 2013

Supreme Court Petition Information

The Supreme Court has decreed maintainability of our petition.

Will keep you informed of the hearings. Thank you for all your support. Aquila

From our lawyer: “The Registrar SC had returned the Constitution Petition with objection that the petition involved grievance of individual nature and no question of public importance involving violation of fundamental rights was raise. Appeal against the office order was filed and today the SC allowed the appeal and ordered the Registrar to fix the Petition for hearing. ”


– September 19th 2013

Supreme Court Petition Information



– Saturday July 6th, 2013

Perween Rahman Legacy Forum.  “THE SPIRIT LIVES ON”.

Click on image for enlarged view.  



Tuesday July 2nd, 2013, 7:00 pm 

The Perween Rahman Lecture Series: Sheema Kermani on Community Theatre

Join us at T2F for the third session of The Perween Rahman Lecture Series, instituted to keep Perween’s voice and legacy alive and to continue talking about the issues closest to her heart.

Perween Rahman’s support for Tehrik-e-Niswan’s Theatre for Community Development, was part of her work to enlighten the residents of low-income settlements of their inalienable right to a good life. Sheema Kermani, founder of Tehrik-e-Niswan, will discuss the role of theatre for social uplift and Perween Rahman’s role in partnering with Tehrik-e-Niswan to bring meaningful entertainment and aesthetics to the people of Orangi
For more:


– Saturday June 29th 2013:

 Perween Rahman ko Shairana Kheraj-i-Aqueedat

A Poetic Tribute to Perween Rahman.  A mushaira, Perween Rahman ko Shairana Kheraj-i-Aqueedat, to be held on 29 June 2013, at 3:00 p.m at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs auditorium (opposite Sidco Center). Poets and Writers in attendance include, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Fehmida Riaz, Azra Abbas, Anwar Sen Roy, Tanweer Anjum, Shahida Hasan, Attiya Dawood, Amar Sindhu, Harris Khalique and other luminaries.



Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

The Perween Rahman Lecture Series

Zubeida Mustafa talk in T2F  second session of The Perween Rahman Lecture Series at 7:00pm instituted to keep Perween’s voice and legacy alive and to continue talking about the issues closest to her heart.

Zubeida Mustafa has written extensively on education and on OPP-RTI’s support to small schools. She will speak about the challenges of language, of teacher training, the lack of physical space, and how the OPP-RTI’s program attempts to address myriad issues in the education sector.  Live stream


– Friday June 14th, 2013

Sindh Amun Forum in collaboration with Bhittai Social Watch and Advocacy

Sindh Amun Forum in collaboration with Bhittai Social Watch and Advocacy organized ‘Parween Rehman Memorial Reference’ at Press Club Khairpur Mirs’. Representatives of civil society organizations, political activists, trade union leaders and journalists were amongst the participants. A documentary on personal and professional life Parween Rehman was screened on the occasion. Participants talked about her services in the field of education, town planning particularly urban slums, rural villages and settlements in suburbs of Karachi. They said the Parween Rehman boldly stood with poor as well as educated and mobilized poor communities of Karachi for united and collaborative actions to resolve and manage their problems. She also motivated and encouraged people to demand their rights from the state. This all is very much challenging and full of risks in Karachi because of ethnic divide and other violent groups however Parween inspired people for unity and cooperation. Participants further said that Parween always remained source of inspiration for her students and common masses, whom she worked with; by her words and actions. The participants further acknowledged the services of Pareen Rehman for educating the communities and developing community leadership for civic and housing issues. Khadim Mirani, Anwar Rashid, Adam Malik, Zahratul Fatima Naeem Iqbal and others spoke on the occasion.

The participants also adopted a resolution and demanded to bring the culprits to justice. They demanded to expose the criminals and also the motive behind the brutal act of assassination. They also demanded to take necessary measures for protection of social activists all over country.

خيرپور ( )
پاڪستان جي سول سوسائٽي پاران ناليوارِي سماجي اڳواڻ پروين رحمان شهيد جي قاتلن کي گرفتار ڪري انصاف جي ڪٽهڙي ۾ آڻي قانون موجب سزا ڏيڻ جو مطالبو.
اهڙومطالبو اڄ خيرپور ۾ پاڪستان جي مختلف شهرن کان آيل سول سوسائٽي جي تنظيمن جي اڳواڻن پاران شهري رٿا بندي جي ماهر، سماجي اڳواڻ ۽ اورنگي پائلٽ پروجيڪٽ جي ڊائريڪٽر پروين رحمان جي ياد ۾ ٿيل تعزيتي اجلاس ۾ ڪيو ويو. اجلاس ۾ حڪومت پاڪستان، حڪومت سنڌ، چيف جسٽس آف پاڪستان، چيف جسٽس آف سنڌ هاءِ ڪورٽ ۽ ٻين اختيارين کان پُرزور مطالبو ڪيو ويو ته 3 مهينا گذرڻ باوجود سندس قاتل اڃا تائين قانون جي گرفت ۾ نه آيا آهن جيڪا سراسر زيادتي ۽ ناانصافي آهي. تنهنڪري سندس قاتلن کي فوري طور تي گرفتار ڪري کين قانون جي ڪٽهڙي ۾ آڻي سزا ڏني وڃي. اهو پڻ مطالبو ڪيو ويو ته ساڳي اداري جي هڪ ٻي اڳواڻ وحيد خان جي قاتلن کي پڻ گرفتار ڪيو وڃي. اجلاس ۾ ڏوهارين پاران ملڪ ۾سماجي ڪارڪنن کي لڳاتار نشانو بڻائي قتل يا اغوا ڪرڻ جي جي سخت مذمت ڪئي وئي.
ان موقعي تي سندس سماجي خدمتن تي روشني وجهندي مقررن چيو ته ڪراچي جهڙي مسئلن سان ڀرپور شهر ۾ مختلف لساني گروپن ۽ تضادن جي موجودگيءَ ۾ عام شهرين کي هڪ پليٽ فارم تي جمع ڪرڻ ۽ پنهنجن مسئلن جي حل لاءِ متحرڪ ڪرڻ پروين رحمان جو نه وسارڻ جهڙو عمل آهي.
مقررن پاران ملڪ ۾ امن امان جي مجموعي صورتحال تي ڳڻتي جو اظهار ڪندي بهتر ۽ قانون جي حڪمراني قائم ڪري هر هڪ شهري جي جان ۽ مال جي تحفظ کي يقيني بڻائڻ ۽ گڏوگڏ سماجي ۽ معاشي ترقيءَ جي شعبن ۾ خدمتون ڏيندڙ رضاڪارن ۽ ڪارڪنن کي تحفظ فراهم ڪرڻ جا مطالبا ڪيا ويا.
اجلاس کي ناليوارن سماجي اڳواڻن انور راشد، مير ذوالفقار، زهرت الفاطمه، آدم ملڪ، خادم ميراڻي، ياسر عرفات جتوئي، عليم احمد خان، افتخار حسن، صابر يوسفزئي، نازيه افضل، فوزيه حنيف، اڪرام عارفي ۽ ٻين پڻ خطاب ڪيو.


Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

KNPR AND KCNV Broadcasts 

Two channels,  KNPR 88.9 FM : 8:19am, 11:19am, 2:28pm and 5:19pm, plus – minus 5 minutes, pacific time and KCNV 89.7 FM: 8:40am,11:40am, 2:40 pm and 5:40pm, plus – minus 5 minutes, pacific time of  Nevada Public Radio (, broadcasted, on Perween Rahman, text below:


Broadcast start < In memory of Perween Rahman, advocate for the two million impoverished people of Pakistan, assassinated March 13th in Karachi. She dedicated thirty years of her life in service of the poor and Dr. Khair reflects that her loss is felt not only by the family but also by the underprivileged who depended on her. More information on Perween’s life work at > Broadcast end.


– Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

The Perween Rahman Lecture Series

: Inaugural talk by Arif Hasan at T2F on Tuesday, 11th June 2013 at 7:00 pm

Perween Rahman was one of Pakistan’s brightest lights. A renowned social worker, urban planner, and architect, Perween spent decades working on poverty alleviation projects with the guiding philosophy of ‘apni madad aap’ (help yourself). On 13th March 2013, Perween was murdered by armed assailants while returning home from work. Her death has been mourned across Pakistan and the social development world.   Join us at T2F for the inaugural session of The Perween Rahman Lecture Series, instituted to keep Perween’s voice and legacy alive and to continue talking about the issues closest to her heart. Aquila Ismail, Perween Rahman’s sister and author of  ‘Martyrs and Marigold’ will introduce the series and Arif Hasan will speak about the housing crisis in Pakistan.  Live stream.


– Saturday April 27th, 2013:



Perween Rahman is not among us. In  memory of  her achievement, success,  sweet memories and views of her companions, Ghazwa Development Organization (GDO) is organizing the First Developmental Forum.

You are cordially invited to participate in the forum on April 27, 2013 at Shakir Town, near Farukkh Community Hospital DG Khan at 9:00 am.

Contact Person: Mr. Zafar Ali Shah 0300-3791616, and 0331-7393808


– March 17th, 2013

Pakistan Council of Architects and own Planners

Institute of Architects, Pakistan

Join hands at Mazar – e – Quaid to pay tribute to Perween Rahman




  1. Words fail me to express the anger I feel whenever I think how someone could take away the life of a person who was selflessly working to better the life of others. Such people must be brought to task at all cost.

  2. I am deeply saddened that somone’s passionate and fruitful life had to be taken to perpetuate evil and greed of a few. However Parveen Rehman’s legacy will prevail for she shines there like the North Star to guide us on!

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