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Women candidates from tribal areas

AS Pakistani politicians struggle with the legacy of military dictator Ziaul Haq while facing the disqualification axe under Articles 62 and 63 (introduced by Gen Zia with malignant intentions), somewhere else history is being made by defying the dead dictator.

Two tribal women, Badam Zari and Nusrat Begum, will face real dangers in a brutal world. They are taking on the mantle to get themselves accepted as equal human beings while challenging the Taliban who have made the tribal areas hostage at gun-point.

Health workers are unable to proceed with polio vaccination campaigns, hospitals, primary healthcare units, girls schools are frequently targeted with impunity, women rights activists are prey for vultures from the dark ages. There is no need to mention Farida Afridi, Malala Yousufzai and Parveen Rehman who were openly threatened by the Taliban and targeted at the first opportunity.

We don’t want to establish memorial funds in the name of Badam Zari and Nusrat Begum, we want them to be alive and play an active role in politics. As the residents of Fata and Pata can’t bank on the government for security, they have to protect these women candidates by themselves.

Badam and Nusrat may be the first drop of rain in a suffocating hot summer which has lasted 24 years since Americans defeated the Soviets in Afghanistan. We have to break this never-ending cycle of miseries in our region.

MASOOD KHAN

Jubail , Saudi Arabia

A credible step

TRIBAL areas of Pakistan mostly remain in the headlines because of their ill-fated situations and military actions, but for the first time it was in the headlines because of a positive reason.

Badam Zari, a resident of Bajaur Agency, is the first tribal woman to come forward to contest for a National Assembly seat from Bajaur Agency.

Her efforts to highlight women’s issues and help them to come forward to express their woes and to end their sense of deprivation in the midst of challenges and hurdles set in her way are appreciable.

It is time people, especially women, realised the fact that revolution can’t be brought about by sitting at homes or just by talking about it, rather we must step forward and fight for our rights. Futhermore, we hope the administration will provide full security to such women fighters.

SHIREEN HASHIM

Turbat

Source; Dawn

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