47,000 women voters were not allowed to cast their votes in Lower Dir PK-95 constituency. Now social media is filled with questions about this act. It seems like systematic rigging, to deprive thousands of women their right, guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan. This is not the first time it’s happening, during 2013 elections, women were banned from casting their vote in Lower and Upper Dir and Malakand under written (and verbal) agreement, signed by representatives of all the political parties. Last time PK-95 assembly seat was won by Jamat-e-Islami’ Siraj-ul-Haq, who justified banning of women under security cloud. He was afraid that suicide bombers would attack the polling stations disguising as women. Obviously it was a lame excuse but regrettably Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed to take any notice of this blatant violation of the constitution and human rights.
As no action was taken against these parties, at that time, the same crime was repeated this Thursday and will be done again if the ECP does not stop this once and for all. Half the population of PK-95 constituency was forcibly stopped from casting their votes and thus they should be regarded as null and void. A re-poll should be ordered, until then this constituency should remain without any representation in the provincial assembly. It’s time for ECP to wake up!
MASOOD KHAN,
Saudi Arab, May 8.