Most of the mainstream political parties have submitted proof of rigging during the May 2013 elections, to the recently constituted 3 member Judicial Commission . Hearings starts from April 16 and the commission will minutely review the rigging proof provided by all the parties. I would like to bring to light another kind of rigging in backward areas where women were barred from casting their votes under written or verbal agreement, reached among the contesting candidates representing all parties.

Though written agreement appeared in the media the Election Commission didn’t take any action to declare these results as null and void. Similar agreements were inked or verbally managed in other areas as well. JI Ameer, Sirajul Haq defended barring of women in an interview under the security reasons, as per him, militants were planning to use female suicide bombers to attack polling stations, we can’t comment on JI’ stance on suicide bombers planning, as they may have more accurate ‘insider’ news. However why this excuse was not applicable for male polling stations is a mystery. As per recorded statistics, out of hundreds of suicide bombing attacks all across Pakistan, very rarely any female bomber was deployed.

It is very obvious no political party will raise this issue as they were all directly or indirectly involved. We request the Judicial Commission to look into this issue and order ECP to investigate what actually happened in Upper and Lower Dir and Buner. Though it’s a cumbersome exercise, however data submitted by ROs for individual female polling stations would make it clear if women were barred from casting their votes. Even if justice is delivered after two years, it’s never late.


Saudi Arab, April 16.