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First Hindu woman in Pak files nomination to contest Feb 8 polls

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Peshawar, Dec 26: Dr Saveera Parkash has become the first woman from the minority Hindu community to run in the provincial elections in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
A doctor by profession, Parkash, 25, on Friday filed her nomination papers for the general seat of PK-25 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner district, her father Om Parkash told PTI on Tuesday.
Om Parkash said his daughter filed a nomination for the general seat PK-25 constituency of the KPK Assembly from the mountainous Buner district as a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate.
She has also filed papers for a seat reserved for women in the KPK Assembly.
Parkash filed the papers at the request of the provincial leadership of the party Senator Rubina Khalid.
She will formally get a party ticket during a PPP rally in Buner on Wednesday.
“She is a serious candidate and will contest the upcoming elections due for February 8 on a general as well reserved seat,” said Om Parkash, a recently retired doctor who had been an active member of the party for the past 35 years.
According to local politician Saleem Khan, who is affiliated with the Qaumi Watan Party, Parkash is the first woman from Buner to have submitted her nomination papers to contest the upcoming elections from the general seat.
Parkash completed her MBBS from the Abbottabad International Medical College in 2022 and is also the general secretary of the PPP women’s wing in Buner.
Parkash said she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps in working for the area’s poor.
She said she had submitted her nomination papers on December 23 (Friday).
Parkash emphasised her desire to work for the welfare of women in the area to ensure a safe space for them and to help them attain their rights.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan is a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban terror group, blamed for a series of attacks on security forces.
She said women have been “suppressed and neglected”, especially concerning the development sector.
According to the ECP’s recent amendments, a five per cent inclusion of women candidates is mandatory on general seats.
As many as 28,626 candidates, including 3,139 women, have filed their nominations to contest the February 8 general elections in Pakistan to the National Assembly and four provincial legislatures, the country’s top electoral body said here on Tuesday.
The election will be held for 1,085 general and reserved seats of the national and provincial assemblies.
Of the total 1,085 seats, there are 336 National Assembly (NA) seats – 226 general and 70 reserved for women (60) and non-Muslims (10); and 749 provincial assembly seats – 593 general and 156 reserved for women (132) and minorities (24). (PTI)

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