Fatima Sughra Begum

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Fatima Sughra (1932 – 25 September 2017), also known as Begum Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Fatima Sughra Begum, Begum Hidayatullah and Lady Hidayatullah.[1] was a Pakistan Movement activist and figure in Pakistani politics.[2] She was the wife of Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah. She became known when she pulled off the Union Jack from the civil secretariat Lahore, and replaced it with the flag of All-India Muslim League at the age of 14. This act made her a hero in the eyes of many people.[1][3]

Early life[edit]

Begum was born in 1932 in the Walled City of Lahore, British India.[1][2] She was the daughter of Yaqoob Khan Popalzai Durrani. She married Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, a prominent Sindhi political leader.[4]


In 1938, still a child, she joined All India Muslim League, and this marked the start of her political career. She soon joined the Women’s Central Subcommittee.[1]

It was due to her efforts that led to the formation of various Provincial subcommittee branches in different Sindh districts such as Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Dadu.[1]

In the annual session of Muslim League in December 1943, Begum was elected as President of the Women's Reception Committee.[1]

As a young school student, she took part in political processions in Lahore during the 1940s, where she urged the Government to accept the League's proposals for a separate nation for the Muslims.[1]

In February 1947, at the age of just 14, Begum pulled down the British Union Jack from the Civil Secretariat Lahore, and hoisted the Muslim League flag. She was warmly supported by all the Muslims present, who chanted 'Pakistan Zindabad'.[2][5] This act became a big symbol of Independence for British India.[6]

Begum also worked in the Women’s Refugee Relief Committee, helping those who had migrated to Pakistan after partition.[1][3]

According to the famous newspaper columnist Orya Maqbool Jan, Sughra was a role model for Muslim Women at that time.[5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In recognition of her services during Pakistan Movement, she was given a Gold Medal by the Pakistan Movement Workers' Trust for ‘Services to Pakistan,’ making her the first ever to get one. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Government of Pakistan.[2][1][5]


Begum died on 25 September 2017 at age 84. She was laid to rest at Miani Sahib graveyard, Lahore, Pakistan.[3][5][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Independence Day special: The women brigade of freedom fight (scroll down to read profile of Fatima Sughra Begum) ARY TV News, Published 14 August 2016, Retrieved 15 September 2021
  2. ^ a b c d e Xari Jalil (26 September 2017). "Fatima Sughra is no more (biography and achievements)". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b c (Associated Press of Pakistan) Pakistan movement veteran Fatima Sughra dies at 86 The News International (newspaper), Published 25 September 2017, Retrieved 15 September 2021
  4. ^ "Lady Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah - Former President of the Women's Reception Committee". Story of Pakistan website. 1 June 2003. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d "Renowned Pakistan Movement activist Sughra Fatima dies The Express Tribune (newspaper), Published 26 September 2017, Retrieved 15 September 2021
  6. ^ The Lady who pulled down Union Jack from Civil Secretariat Lahore Daily Pakistan (newspaper), Published 25 September 2017, Retrieved 15 September 2021