Nadira, Lady Naipaul (born 1953) is a Pakistani journalist.
Nadira Khannum Alvi was born in 1953 (age 70 years; as of 2023) in Mombasa, Kenya.
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about her parents. Nadira Naipaul had a brother, Ameer Faisal Alavi, who was a two-star general in the Pakistan Army. He was assassinated in 2008.
Husband & Children
When she was only 16 years old, Nadira got married to Agha Hashim, an engineer who was 26 years older than her. They had two daughters, Gul Zehra, also known as Naeema Hashim, and Sumar Zahra, who were raised by different relatives after their parents’ divorce. Later, Nadira tied the knot with Iqbal Shah, with whom she had a daughter named Maleeha. The British-Trinidadian novelist and Nobel laureate, V. S. Naipaul married Nadira shortly after his first wife, Patricia Hale, died in 1996. V. S. Naipaul adopted Maleeha, and Nadira also had a son named Nadir Shah.
In an interview she said,
I am a Muslim. I was born into a Muslim family who traces their ancestry back to their Semitic or Arab inheritance although they have lived in the subcontinent for the last 200 years.”
She worked as a journalist for The Nation, a Pakistani newspaper, for ten years. Nadira Naipaul expressed strong criticism towards certain Muslim representatives in London. She said in an interview,
My people are not represented by the so-called Council of British Muslims, who ironically have escaped to the West and can sit here waving the green flag, criticising the very government and laws that protect them.”
Being a journalist, Nadira Naipaul was bold and outspoken. In an interview she said,
I am also a Muslim woman who has written for 10 years against the oppression of her people, particularly women, by clerics and the feudal (lords) of our sporadic one-legged democracies.”
Madikizela-Mandela called Nadira Naipaul a liar
During a visit to Mandela’s Soweto home with her husband, V.S. Naipaul, Nadira Naipaul claimed to have had an interview with Madikizela-Mandela regarding her husband. This interview formed the basis of the extensively publicized article authored by Nadira Naipaul in the London Evening Standard. As per the article, Madikizela-Mandela asserted that her former husband, Nelson Mandela, had betrayed the majority of black citizens in South Africa by making a deal with the white apartheid government at the time.
Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much white. It has a few to token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded,”- Madikizela-Mandela.
In an article, published in the weekly Sunday Times, Madikizela-Mandela denied that Naipaul had interviewed her, and wrote,
- Nadira Naipaul’s brother, Major General Ameer Faisal Alavi was the first General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Special Service Group of the Pakistan Army.
- On 19 November 2008, while driving to work in his car in Islamabad, Major General Ameer Faisal Alavi was shot dead. It was alleged that Ilyas Kashmiri, the chief of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, was behind the murder.