QUETTA: Rahila Hameed Durrani on Thursday was unanimously elected as the first-ever female speaker of the Balochistan Assembly.
Durrani belongs to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which leads the provincial government along with Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party.
According to reports, no candidate submitted their nomination papers against Durrani in the registrar office during the stipulated time from 9am to 10am. However, Mufti Gulab, a candidate of the opposition parties submitted his nomination papers after 10am.
The registrar initially refused to accept the nomination papers of Mufti Gulab but after a heated argument with the MPAs of the opposition parties, his papers were finally accepted.
Presiding officer Liaquat Agha declared MPA Rahila Hameed Durrani as the elected assembly speaker, arguing the opposition’s candidate could not submit his nomination papers in the given time.
Durrani had been elected as a member of Balochistan Assembly on a ticket from the Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz (PML-N) on a special seat for women in the 2013 general elections. She has also previously served as a member of the provincial assembly.
Earlier in May, former speaker Balochistan Assembly Jan Muhammad Jamali had resigned from his post following a row with the PML-N’s leadership after he reportedly voted for his daughter Sana Jamali in the Senate elections, ignoring the party decision.
Durrani’s election comes just two days after Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly elected on Tuesday Dr Mehar Taj Roghani as its first-ever woman deputy speaker. Roghani, who was the nominee of the treasury benches and belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is a lawmaker from Mardan.
In her speech, Roghani thanked the opposition, the treasury benches and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for putting their faith in her. “My figure in the house would be like that of a mother. I will treat everyone equally,” she said.