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Pakistanís Most Influential Persons After Jinnah

Herald magazine lists Pakistan's top 10 influential persons. Subscribe to Herald Magazine

Here is our criterion: anyone who treads a new path (consider Noor Jehan wo mothered children while also being a movie star way back in the 1940s-50s); anyone who sets the direction for the future (like Liaquat Ali Khan did by envisioning Pakistan as a modern Muslim democracy); anyone who changes that direction (as Ayyub Khan did by staging the first military coup in the country). In short, anyone who has determined or changed the course of Pakistanís history in a way that has been difficult, if not entirely impossible, to reverse, and has spawned copycats, fans and followers (also foes) in the process.

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Even this criterion will admittedly lead to different lists depending on who is making them. The Heraldís list for instance, does not include Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the physicist whom many Pakistanis credit for making Pakistan a nuclear power. To us, his role in inventing our nuclear bomb is as much a matter of debate as his subsequent role in an illicit nuclear proliferation network (for which he apologized on national television).

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The list could only have ten names. That alone explains why many activists, performers, artists, businessmen, technocrats, educationists, judges, lawyers, administrators, academics, politicians and prominent women are not in it. To somewhat make up for the omissions, we have come up with a supplementary list of five more nominees (though they have not been put to the test of opinion polls).

The List

Pakistanís Most Influential Persons After Jinnah

         Abdul SattarEdhi

         Benazir Bhutto

         Imran Khan

         Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

         Zia ulHaq

         Ayub Khan

         Noor Jehan

         Liaquat Ali Khan

         Faiz Ahmed Faiz

         Asma Jahangir






 (Courtesy The Economist - Subscribe now)

January 23, 2016

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