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Women barred from local polls

By Iqbal Khattak
PESHAWAR, July 14 2005: Political parties in Lower and Upper Dir districts have barred women from contesting local government elections and casting votes, a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) leader said on July 13.

Qazi Fazlullah, JUI-F Upper Dir district president, told Daily Times by phone that the decision to this effect was taken at a meeting, which was also attended by representatives from Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians, Pakistan Muslim League-Q&N, Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao, Awami National Party, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf, JUI-F and Jamaat-e-Islami.

“Neither will women candidates be allowed to contest local government polls nor will they be allowed to vote,” Fazlullah said of the decision that was “unanimous”. The JUI-F district president said that women were barred due to local traditions. “We have our own traditions and that is why we have barred women from taking part in polls. We will set conditions and violators will be penalised,” Fazlullah said.

Meanwhile, a separate meeting formed an alliance against the Jamaat-e-Islami. “We have formed an alliance against the Jamaat because it was not treating JUI-F equally,” Fazlullah said. “The alliance includes PPP-S, PPP-P, ANP, PML-N, PML-Q and PTI,” he said. “The JI has completely ignored the JUI-F in development of the area and formation of the alliance was a reaction to JI’s attitude,” the JUI-F leader said. “The JI has unleashed a reign of terror against us. We were left with no option, but to form a grand alliance against it.”

Source: Daily Times

Date:7/14/2005

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