In the wake of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) assuming control of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government, many senior female activists have raised concerns about the party’s nominations for reserved seats for women in both legislatures.
The Election Commission of Pakistan issued a list of names of women elected on reserved seats in both the provincial and National Assembly on Tuesday. The PTI has 14 members on the list.
However, senior female activists have alleged the tickets were either issued to close relatives of the senior leadership or to a select few members.
Former information secretary of the PTI’s provincial womens wing, Esmat Ara Khattak, told The Express Tribune, “Even though the party had secured enough seats to be able to adjust older party workers in the assemblies, the leadership favoured their relatives and friends by selecting them on the reserved seats.”
She alleged Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser ignored senior female PTI leaders.
The PTI had named Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak for the National Assembly reserved seat for women. She is the elected general secretary of the party’s K-P women’s wing and is also Pervaiz Khattak’s sister-in-law. Sajida Begum is another PTI member named for a reserved seat in the National Assembly. She is Pervaiz Khattak’s niece and was not very well known within PTI circles before her nomination.
Ayesha Gulalai, another MNA named by the PTI, joined the party seven months ago after resigning from the All Pakistan Muslim League FATA chapter. A PTI insider requesting anonymity said Gulalai was only named for the NA seat because she was on good terms with PTI K-P President Asad Qaiser.
Mussarat Ahmad Zeb was another lesser-known member nominated for an NA seat. Zeb hails from Nowshera and is the daughter-in-law of Wali Swat. She joined the party in March.
“The PTI’s leadership has also violated merit in presenting names for female reserved seats for the provincial assembly,” said PTI Peshawar Town-1 women’s wing president Dr Saiqa.
Out of 10 MPAs on reserved seats, five have been selected from Mardan and Swabi, she alleged, adding female activists who had worked hard during the election campaign to get votes from women had been ignored completely for reserved seats.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2013.
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