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Lone woman candidate in Bajaur optimistic about winning election

BAJAUR: Sultanat Bibi, the lone woman aspirant for a provincial assembly seat in Bajaur tribal district, on Sunday said the prime objective of her election bid was to work for women empowerment in a male-dominated region.

She said she was optimistic the area’s women would cast their vote for her in numbers.

“The main purpose of my decision to contest the election on PK-21 is to ensure that women get the facilities of health, education and dignified jobs,” Sultanat Bibi said during an interaction with mediapersons.

She said it was very difficult for her to take part in the elections in Bajaur, where the women were not allowed to even visit the nearby bazaars alone. However, she said she opted to contest the elections just for the rights of local women, who she said had been deprived of their due rights, faced discrimination both inside and outside of their homes.

“This is my ambition to become the loud voice of the voiceless community. Hence I have taken the tough decision of contesting the election,” said the 25-year-old.

Sultanat Bibi says she wants to empower women economically

She claimed she knew well the problems and challenges being faced by women, and vowed to make all-out efforts to empower make them economically by ensuring them the rights declared in Islam and the country’s Constitution.

Sultanat Bibi noted that there were multiple problems and challenges for women in the district making their lives miserable, observing that lack of health, education facilities and absence of job opportunities were among the major issues of women.

Ms Bibi, who was elected as a councillor from her native Shinki area of Khar tehsil in 2021 local body elections, pointed out that denying women their right of inheritance was common in Bajaur. She claimed she would raise a strong voice over the issue after becoming the MPA.

Ms Bibi, who is doing her masters, pledged to establish at least two postgraduate colleges for girls in the district if she won the seat.

She said there was no single lady doctor at any government health facility in the region, including the District Headquarters Hospital. However, she vowed to ensure at least four specialist lady doctors at the District Headquarters Hospital and one lady doctor at every government health facility in the district.

Ms Bibi, mother of a girl child, said she was confident that majority of women from her constituency would vote for her in the Feb 8 elections.

She said she would launch a proper election campaign in next three days, adding she would encourage the women to cast their votes in the elections in large numbers.

She said she wanted to contest the elections on PTI ticket, and had applied for the same. However, she stated she would contest the elections as independent if she didn’t get the PTI ticket.

It merits mention here that in 2018 general elections, another woman candidate, Badam Zari, had contested the National Assembly seat as independent and got around 800 votes.

Source: Dawn