June 2 shall be remembered as an important day in Pakistan’ electoral history when Election Commission (ECP) proved it can exercise the powers bestowed upon it by the constitution. Result of PK-95 bye-election was declared null and re-election has been ordered by ECP. As more than 53,000 women voters were denied their right to vote. All this happened under unofficial agreement among contesting parties and by local Jirga’s. May 07 election was won by JI candidate; Siraj-ul-Haq, JI Ameer, who earlier vacated this seat to become a senator, justified non-participation of women as they have other chores. JI’

But the ball will not stop at this May 07 bye-election. We need to go back to 2013 general elections wherein Siraj-ul-Haq won this seat by using same tactics, zero participation of women. At that time he came up with a far more interesting justification that suicide bombers might attack disguised as women in burqas, this can be seen as JI’ links with some suspicious insiders.


Saudi Arab, June 3.