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Call to ensure voting rights for Dir women

TIMERGARA: Representatives of non-governmental organisations in Lower Dir on Monday vowed to take every step to ensure that women in Lower Dir are given right to vote in the next elections.

Speaking at a news conference at the Timergara Press Club, a group of NGOs’ representatives led by Akbar Khan alleged all political and religious parties had been responsible for barring women from voting in Dir in the past.

They said whenever elections drew near the political leadership in the district inked a deal not to allow women to cast votes, regretting that women formed half the population of the country and participating in political process was their basic human right.

“Women should be allowed to contest and cast votes in election on their own free will,” demanded Akbar Khan, saying barring them from the process was a clear violation of their rights.

The group announced it would not remain silent on the issue in future and would take it even to the courts and the Election Commission of Pakistan.

It demanded of the government and ECP to ensure women participation in elections in Dir and declare the results of the polling stations as null and void where women participation proved less than 10 per cent of the total votes cast. It also demanded of the government to form separate polling stations for women in the region.

Dawn

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