PESHAWAR: Several lawmakers elected on the women reserved seats from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are keen to get berths in the provincial cabinet.
“We want to play an active role in the assembly. We will focus on the issues of the women and special persons,” said a woman lawmaker of PTI.
Before the general election, the PTI submitted a priority list of 15 candidates, who are all set to become members of the provincial assembly due to the big victory of the party in the polls.
The list contained the names of three former MPAs, including Nadia Sher, Maliha Ali Asghar and Ayesha Naeem. It also mentioned the other candidates, namely Momina Basit, Dr Sumera Shams, Rabia Basri, Dr Aasia Asad, Sajida Haneef, Somi Falak Naz, Ayesha Khushnood, Sitara Afreen, Zeenat Bibi, Aasia Khattak and Maria Fatima.
“I should be given a seat in the cabinet. I want to work for the people of our province,” Momina Basit told The News. “I joined PTI in 2011. I played a key role in organising the women wings at tehsil and district levels in Hazara division. I also served as president of the party’s women wings at tehsil and division level,” she explained.
Rabia Basri, another woman MPA-elect on reserved seat and president of the PTI women wing for Peshawar, also wished to be adjusted in the cabinet.
Hailing from Dera Ismail Khan, she said she campaigned for Imran Khan in the 2013 general election when he was contesting the election for the National Assembly seat from Peshawar, then known as NA-1 and now renamed NA-31.
Dr Sumera Shams also hopes to play an active role as woman lawmaker in the assembly. “I want to establish women universities in the under-developed districts of the province,” said the 26-year old MPA.
Hailing from Lower Dir, a remote and conservative district of the province, Sumera Shams joined PTI when she was a student. Her father Shamsul Qamar Khan, who was the candidate of the Awami National Party (ANP) in the 2008 general election, died of cardiac arrest on polling day.
In the 2013 general election when local elders reached an agreement with political parties to bar women from casting their votes, Sumera Shams defied the decision by becoming one of the few women to vote in Lower Dir.
She recalled that she started her political career after her father died on the polling day as he was contesting for provincial and national assembly seats on the ANP ticket.
Another PTI female lawmaker, Aasia Khattak, wished to play a role for betterment of the marginalized section of society. “I joined politics in 2007 after drawing inspiration from the struggle of PTI chief Imran Khan when he was collecting funds in Dubai for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. I have no political background and am the first one in my family to join this field,” she said.
“I remained the female campaign coordinator for Imran Khan in the 2013 general election in Peshawar,” she recalled. Aasia Khattak was elected as member of the District Council Peshawar in the 2015 local government election.
She claimed that she spent her funds on the empowerment of women in Peshawar as the district council member. “I intend to play an active role for women empowerment in the province,” she added.