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Move to fight for women’s rights in Malakand

By Dilshad Azeem

ISLAMABAD: A female senator of the PML-Q plans to unite women parliamentarians so as to launch a collective move for the rights of women in the Malakand division.

“I plan to get signatures from the lady members and start a combined effort for women’s rights in the troubled areas,” said Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar, who hails from Rawalpindi. She maintained that women representation be ensured in the proposed APC on the Swat issue.

She said: “President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani must move forward to get and incorporate viewpoint of women for Swat and other areas.“I plan to write a letter to President Zardari, bringing the Swat-Buner and other Malakand women status in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan and equal to the rest of the areas of Pakistan.”

Responding to a question, she said she would not hesitate to go ahead alone, even if women parliamentarians from the PPP or other parties did not support her initiative. “This is an issue that should be taken above the party lines.”

She said: “The Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (NAR) leaves many questions unanswered as far as the plight of women is concerned. The women must be given due representation in the appointment of the Qazis.”

“I have received a tremendous response from women parliamentarians to take an initiative for womens’ plight in Swat and the Malakand division.” She, however, said she would move singlehandedly, even if the women parliamentarians did not back her. “This is the responsibility of every woman MP or a female to raise her voice for the Swat-Bunner women. All the women, whether sitting in parliament, civil society organisations or the media, need to evolve a consensus to raise their voice for the rights of women in the troubled areas.” Nilofar said: “I have read the NAR, which does not provide anything for the rights of women. Why canÂ’t women be the Qazis?”
Source: The News