She may have lost the election, but she won the hearts and minds of her constituency.
Mai Jori Jamali came to the limelight when she stood against an influential tribal chief in the general elections from Jaffarabad District in Balochistan.
The warm welcome she received when she arrived in Talagang with an Awami Party Pakistan (APP) caravan on Tuesday was more than fitting.
According to a press release issued by the APP on Tueday, the convoy was given a rousing welcome by the party’s Central Secretary General Ayub Malik and workers of APP.
Speaking on the occasion, Malik paid tribute to Jamali and praised her efforts for challenging the feudal leaders of her own tribe and fighting for the social and political emancipation of the working class of Pakistan, which was otherwise exploited by feudal chiefs, bureaucrats and the military establishment.
He said that the dream of an egalitarian society based on social justice, peace, harmony and welfare would be a far cry until the stranglehold of feudalism, tribalism and military intervention in politics is completely broken. Jamali belongs to Ghulam Muhammad Jamali village, a small area which gained notoriety after three women and two teenaged girls were allegedly buried alive. Her courage and strength is a source of inspiration for women who are struggling for their empowerment.
APP leader Farida Malik addressed the caravan and promised to continue the struggle initiated by Jamali. She said that the presence of people like her has given hope to APP workers to stand up against the local chiefs and landlords. APP Talagang General Secretary Haji Mahboob said he was privileged to be a part of the party and will mobilise the working class to attain their due rights.
Speaking on the occasion, APP Khushab vPresident Malik Nazir reiterated that his party will bring a revolution in the politics of Punjab by giving tickets to the people against the feudal lords.
Speaking to the crowd, APP Sindh President Ramzan Memon, said that the problems of all the poor people were the same no matter which province they belonged to. “We must unite the working class so that a social and political change could be brought in the country “, he added. APP Information Secretary Punar Sario and Momin Jamali from APP Balochistan also spoke on the occasion.
At the end Jamali spoke to the crowd in which she promised to continue her challenge against the
feudal lords of Balochistan, despite all their high-handedness and constant threats to her life.
She said that the tribal leaders have always kept the working class under deprivation, which has pushed them further into poverty. She also narrated the difficulties she faced through her tribal leaders in the last by-elections. The crowd responded to her with a thunder of applause followed by chanting slogans of APP.
Jamali’s effort and willingness has shown that the power of feudal lords and tribal leaders can be brought down if people are willing to take a stand for their rights. Despite being an uneducated mother of nine children, she has continued with her struggle which serves as an excellent example for women to come forward and fight for their rights.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2011.