BY: Fawad Ali
RAWALPINDI: Contending parties have mobilized women activists to woo women voters in the forthcoming local body elections in four cantonments of Rawalpindi District. They have formed women groups and sensitized them about how to influence women voters.
They have launched door-to-door campaign to seek support for their party candidates.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has formed two teams for every ward, which is busy in door-to-door campaign.
Talking to The Express Tribune, PTI member of the Punjab Assembly Arif Abbasi said that the teams comprise particularly of university students belonging to the Insaf Students Federation.
“They are supposed to submit a report at the party office about their daily activities,” he said.
“We inform people about the importance of their vote, the local government elections, civic rights and the PTI message. We ask them to vote for any party but that they must come to the polling stations and exercise their right of vote,” said Maliha Safdar, a PTI campaigner in Jhanda Chichi.
The workers have been strictly directed to avoid any confrontation with activists of other parties.
The trend of increasing women participation in electioneering by the PTI has forced other parties to follow suit.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have also started involving their women workers in electioneering.
The PML-N has set up groups and assigned them localities to visit. The PML-N women workers are distributing party flags, stickers and caps.
“Women voters acknowledge the PML-N’s services to the people,” said MPA Zaibunnisa Awan, who is also monitoring the party’s campaign.
The PPP is also trying to compete and counter other parties.
“The PPP has always believed in and encouraged women participation and their empowerment in every walk of life. It is PPP that brought women into politics,” said PPP District President Amir Fida Paracha.
He said that almost all well-known women politicians belonged to the PPP.
PPP, JI strike deal
Meanwhile, the PPP and the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) have reportedly decided to support independent candidates on wards each party has left vacant.
The PPP has not fielded any candidate in ward three and four in Chaklala cantonment and ward nine in Rawalpindi cantonment. The JI left ward nine vacant in Rawalpindi, Chaklala and Murree cantonment boards.