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Pakistan’s Krishna Kumari Kohli creates history, becomes 1st Dalit woman Senator

By Oneindia Staff
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    Islamabad, March 5: Good news for women across Pakistan, especially those belonging to the minority communities in the Muslim-dominated country. Just a few days ahead of the International Women's Day--to be celebrated on Thursday (March 8)--Krishna Kumari Kohli became the first-ever Hindu Dalit woman Senator of Pakistan on Sunday. Kohli, 39, hails from a remote village in Nagarparkar district of Thar in Sindh province. She is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People's Party (PPP). She won the election for the reserved seat for women from Sindh province, Dawn News reported.

    "I feel proud, I am thankful to Pakistan People's Party that they nominated me," Kohli told AFP. "Kudos to the PPP for electing #KrishnaKohli.... Our Parliament should have representatives of all religions, classes and genders in pursuit of true democracy," tweeted rights activist Jibran Nasir.

    Krishna Kumari Kohli

    Her election represents a major milestone for women and minority rights in Pakistan. Earlier, the PPP had elected first Hindu woman named Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla as a Senator. Born to a poor peasant, Jugno Kohli, in February 1979, Kohli and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive.

    She was married to Lalchand at the age of 16 when she was studying in 9th grade. However, she pursued her studies and in 2013 she did masters in sociology from the Sindh University. She had joined the PPP as a social activist along with her brother, who was later elected as the chairperson of Union Council Berano. Kohli also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas.

    She is from the family of the valiant freedom fighter Rooplo Kohli, who had waged a war against the invading British colonialist forces when they had attacked Sindh from Nagarparkar side in 1857. Subsequently, he was arrested and hanged by the Britishers on August 22, 1858.

    Pakistan's ruling PML-N of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday won 15 seats in the Senate and became the largest party in the upper house of Parliament, according to the provisional results. Provincial and federal lawmakers voted to elect 52 Senators in the Senate elections, according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

    Twelve seats each from Punjab and Sindh, 11 each from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, four from tribal region and two from federal capital territory were up for grab due to the retirement of 52 senators this month. More than 130 candidates, including those nominated by political parties and independent candidates, were in the contest.

    Kohli's win was celebrated on social media with the hashtag--#KrishnaKohli. Along with Pakistanis, several Indians also cheered the 39-year-old Dalit woman's victory. Those who believe in gender equality and pluralistic society said it augurs well for Pakistan.

    Here we bring you some tweets:

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