Tehmina Durrani was born into a very rich and dominant Afghan family. Her family was also very educated, which resulted in Tehmina’s independent spirit. At the age of 17 she was betrothed to Anees Khan, giving birth to her daughter Tania, but the couple divorced and she married Ghulam Mustafa Khar. 13 years and four children later, Khar and Tehmina were divorced. The reasons for this divorce became apparent in Tehmina’s book ‘My Feudal Lord’ which turned into an international bestseller, translated into 36 languages and gaining worldwide reputation and fame due to her courage to stand up and openly write about the sexual and mental abuse she received at her husband’s hands. The book describes how her marriage life turns to a living hell as her husband’s huge ego and feudal and backward thinking deprives her of the sanctity of a married life. She describes how she is beaten daily and treated like a sexual slave instead of a wife. The book also describes how Khar, the then Chief Minister of Punjab, subjected her to the severest of beatings at small issues, kidnapped her children and seduced her younger sister. She reconstructs how people’s misunderstanding of Islam, especially in the rural areas are the reason feudal lords like Khar are gifted with so much power that makes them an unstoppable and all powerful force in their region.
With ‘My Feudal Lord’ turning into an internationally acclaimed bestseller Tehmina made good use of her emerging popularity as a writer and wrote ‘A Mirror to the Blind’. The book was inspired and written on Abdul Sattar Eidhi, Pakistan’s celebrated social worker. In 1998 she once again, controversially so, returned with her book ‘Blasphemy’ which is based on the lives of Muslim spiritual leaders known as ‘pirs’. Claiming it to be a true story Tehmina once again highlighted cases of women being tortured and abused in her novel. Since then she has actively been working with NGO’s to raise her voice for the women ofPakistanwho are distressed and tormented due to gender discrimination.