Viqar-un-Nisa Noon

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Viqar un Nisa Noon
Viqar-un-Nisa Noon.jpg
Noon in 1958
First Lady of Pakistan
In office
16 December 1957 – 7 October 1958
Preceded byRa'ana Liaquat Ali Khan
Succeeded byNusrat Bhutto
Personal details
BornJuly 1920 (1920-07)
Austria
Died16 January 2000 (aged 79)
Islamabad, Pakistan
NationalityAustrian
Pakistani
Spouse(s)Feroz Khan Noon
AwardsNishan-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) by the Government of Pakistan in 1959

Begum Viqar un Nisa (also known as Victoria Rekha or ‘Lady Noon’; 1920 – 16 January 2000) was the First Lady of Pakistan from 1957 to 1958. By profession, she was a social worker. She married 7th Pakistani Prime Minister Sir Feroz Khan Noon in 1945 and also participated in the Pakistan Movement, which led to the creation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Viqar was an Austrian by birth and origin, and was born as Victoria in July 1920.[1][2]

Involvement with Pakistan Movement[edit]

After her marriage, she converted to Islam, and renamed herself from Victoria to Viqar un Nisa. The Noons left Delhi the same year after Sir Feroz Khan Noon resigned from the Indian Viceroy's cabinet, and moved to Lahore.[2] Lady Noon had firsthand exposure to Pakistani politics and involved herself with local politics, becoming a member of the Punjab Provincial Women's Subcommittee, organizing rallies and processions for the Muslim League. During the Civil disobedience movement in Punjab, Lady Noon helped organize protests and demonstrations against the British-backed Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana's cabinet, being arrested three times.[2]

Accession of Gwadar[edit]

Viqar-un-Nisa Noon played a big role in accession of Gwadar to Pakistan. She reportedly worked hard in London in 1956 to get Gwadar for Pakistan through British PM and parliament's approval for British colony Oman to give custody to Pakistan. She visited Winston Churchill for lobbying at British parliament in 1956 for ' Gwadar port' to be given to Pakistan[3] and get approval from House of Lords[4][5][6][7][8][9]

Social work[edit]

Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and the mass transfer of people across the border, she engaged in ameliorating the refugee crisis, lending assistance to various refugee camps and committees.[2] She was involved with the Red Cross and engaged herself in local social work. She helped found Viqar un Nisa College for Women, Rawalpindi, Pakistan[2] and the Viqarunnisa Noon School, a famous school for girls in Dhaka, Bangladesh.[10]

Later life[edit]

Her husband Feroz Khan Noon later became the first Governor of East Pakistan and ultimately the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1957. After his death, she continued to be involved in social work activities, along with other prominent lady social workers of Pakistan, such as late Begum Mahmooda Salim Khan, Attiya Inayatullah and Begum Zari Sarfaraz; and remained a senior and executive member of such organisations as the Family Planning Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, the National Crafts Council of Pakistan and others.[10]

For a brief while, she also remained Federal Minister for Tourism and Culture in the Government of Pakistan, during the regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. In her later life, she spent a great deal of her time at her cottage "Al-Feroz", in the hills near Abbottabad, Pakistan, and in scenic Islamabad, where she found creative solace to paint and write.[10]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1959, she was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) for her services to the nation by the Government of Pakistan.[10]

Death[edit]

Viqar-un-Nisa Noon died on 16 January 2000 in Islamabad after a prolonged illness.[2]

According to Dawn newspaper in January 2021, "GWADAR plays a pivotal role in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is termed a game-changer that is bound to boost the national economy".[11] Many people in Pakistan give a lot of credit to the then Prime Minister Feroz Khan Noon and his wife Viqar-un-Nisa Noon for making it possible.[11]

Acknowledgment[edit]

  • Viqar un Nisa Noon Girls Higher Secondary Institute Rawalpindi Pakistan
  • Nishan e Imtiaz Pakistan
  • Vicky Noon Educational Foundation
  • Viqarunnisa Noon School & College Dhaka Bangladesh
  • Pakistan Federal Minister for Tourism and Culture.
  • Pakistan ambassador to Portugal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Freedom at Midnight, 1975.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Profile of Begum Viqar-un-Nisa [1920-2000]". Story of Pakistan website. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Gwadar, Victoria and Aga Khan". www.ourbeacon.com.
  4. ^ "r/pakistan - Viqar Ul Nisa, the woman who helped Pakistan obtain Gwadar (Info in comments)". reddit. 15 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Who do we thank for Gwadar?". Daily Times (newspaper). 23 May 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Why did Oman sell Gwadar to Pakistan?". Quora.com website. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  7. ^ Dhillon, Ali Ahmad (17 January 2019). "Gwadar Ki Shaan, Begum Waqar Un Nisa Noon!". Daily Urdu Columns.
  8. ^ Jones, Jeremy (10 March 2013). Oman, Culture and Diplomacy. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748674633 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Purchase of Gwadar". Dawn (newspaper). 18 December 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d "Founders of 'Vicky' Noon Educational Foundation (Profile of Viqar-un-Nisa Noon)". Vicky Noon Educational Foundation website. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b Honouring the Noons Dawn (newspaper), Published 28 January 2021, Retrieved 23 September 2021

External links[edit]