Pakistan: Protest against barring women from casting votes

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Lahore, May 11: Elderly people of Lower Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunwala (KP) and Mianwali district of Punjab have banned women from casting their ballots in their respective areas on Saturday when Pakistan went to the historic national election.

According to reports, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Awami National League (ANP) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) candidates made an informal agreement to disallow women from participating in the election in Lower Dir'd provincial assembly seat PK-94. It was a said that such agreement was put into effect in various parts of KP.

The political parties had previously asked the women not to vote in these areas and adjoining union councils. However, after the election commission implemented strict rules, the candidates asked their front men to execute the agreement.

Information Minister of KP Musarrat Qadeem confirmed that such agreement had indeed been reached and she had already informed the poll commission about it. She also said that the administration would never accept it. She alleged that even she was told by the candidates to deny the agreement. The KP government said it was committed to ensure free environment for women electors.

Meanwhile, the Aurat Foundation said it will challenge the poll results in areas where women were barred from polling. It also criticised the poll commission for having failed to stop the illegal act and warned of moving the court on the matter. The foundation's KP head Shabina Ayaz said it was a serious violation of the code of conduct and demanded action against the candidates.

A jirga in Swat district's Amankot village barred women from casting their votes. The Awakening protested at the Swat Press Club, condemning the decision taken by various jirgas attended by candidates and workers of various political party.

OneIndia News

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