Judging the performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led provincial government as ‘poor’ since the party assumed charge, the Awami National Party (ANP) is striving to regain the trust of youth and women voters ahead of the by-elections scheduled for August 22.
“Unlike past elections of 2002 and 2008, a large number of female voters were inspired by the slogan of change and came out to vote. But their hopes were dashed because the PTI failed to live up to its promises,” said Shagufta Malak, who is in charge of ANP’s provincial election campaign focusing on women. Malak believes the party can influence a considerable number of women voters once they start campaigning.
ANP has formed women committees at provincial and district levels in the city, while further committees at union council and ward levels will soon be set up to muster support from voters, she added.
“Our main focus is on Peshawar, Nowshera and Mardan to garner support for ANP candidates, and for this we have formed committees that will campaign at the grass root level,” said Malak, expressing confidence in their campaign strategy.
However, she also expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation, particularly in Peshawar, and asked the government to provide security for ANP’s women corner meetings.
“We have started our election campaign, but most of our programmes are held in the Bacha Khan Markaz. After Ramazan, we plan to carry out a full fledge campaign by arranging corner meetings and gatherings,” said Malak, adding ANP’s women activists are committed to actively participate in the campaign despite threats.
ANP’s district election committee head Mian Iftikhar Hussain had earlier assigned Munawar Farman as the women committee in-charge for NA-1, while committees that have been formed for PK-1, PK-2, PK-3 and PK-4 will carry out a door-to-door campaign.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2013.
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