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CHITRAL: Khadija Bibi is the first woman from Chitral to be nominated by any mainstream political party to contest the election for the National Assembly general seat in the constituency of NA-1 Upper Chitral-cum-Lower Chitral.

She has also been nominated for the reserved quota of women on first priority by the Awami National Party (ANP) for the provincial assembly.

Ms Khadija contested polls for the office of the Drosh tehsil chairman in the last local body polls as her party’s nominee.

Speaking in the Chitral Press Club’s Mahraka Programme as a guest speaker, she said her nomination by a mainstream political party proved that the womenfolk of a backward area likeChitralwere politically mature and competent and were not inferior to men in any way.

She said women in Chitral were striving for their political emancipation in the male-dominated society as they had limited freedom and that, too, was fettered in the medieval-age shackles leading to high incidence of suicides among them.

She is first woman to enter electoral fray in region as nominee of any mainstream party

Ms Khadija said that working as a political activist for two decades, she was fully aware of Chitrali women’s issues that were multi-dimensional and complex and needed permanent solutions in some cases.

She praised the party’s central and provincial leaderships for “always encouraging and elevating her to the position of vice-president at the provincial level,” and said her selection for the party’s office and electoral nomination for tehsil chairman, NA general seat and PA reserved seat showed their approach towards women’s development.

“I feel honoured to be the first woman in Chitral to contest the poll of tehsil chairman in the local body polls and general seat of the National Assembly in general elections as a nominee of a party that commands widespread support and following in the province,” she said.

The candidate said she strived to enable the local women to join politics confidently.

Ms Khadija said the ANP-led government in the province carried out massive development work in Chitral from 2008 to 2013 with the bypass construction, water supply from Golen Gol to Chitral city and the establishment of the Chitral campus of the Abdul Wali Khan University being the ‘gifts’ for residents.

“Though our party had a small number of supporters in the region, its government carried out large-scale development in Chitral. I’m hopeful that the people will reciprocate that by electing me as its nominee,” she said.

Source: Dawn