Pak polls 2008: Women banned from voting

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Islamabad, Feb 18: Women have been banned from voting in the general elections in some areas of Mianwali and Sargodha as per a 60-year-old tradition which bars them from exercising their franchise. The panchayat in Union Council 33 Paikhel, which falls in the provincial assembly constituency PP44 in Mianwali, decided not to allow women to cast their votes, upholding the decades-old rule.

There are 18,000 registered voters in the area and women constitute 7500 votes. An independent candidate from the provincial seat was also reportedly a member of the panchayat which ruled to defranchise women, Geo TV reported today. Meanwhile, elders at four Bhera villages in Sargodha have also taken similar decisions. These villages fall within the national assembly constituency NA-64 and provincial assembly constituency PP-28, where 4,479 women voters have been deprived of their right to vote.

Polling for the general elections began this morning amid unprecedented security across the country.


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