LAHORE  -  In what could be described a rare incidence of gender parity in country’s general elections, all the 13 PTI women contestants on the general seats for the Lower House of the Parliament are set to fight their electoral battles against the opposite sex.

Nine PTI women are contesting for the general seats from Punjab while four others are in the run from Sindh province.

Imran Khan’s party has not issued party tickets to any woman from KPK and Balochistan on the general seats for the National Assembly.

Former Federal Minister for Information and formerly associated with the PPP Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan is a PTI candidate from NA-72 (Sialkot).

She is contesting against Ch Armaghan Subhani of the PML-N. PPP has fielded Malik Tahir Akhtar a little known candidate from this constituency.

In 2013 general elections, Subhani had defeated Dr Firdous by a wide margin of over 80,000 votes.

PTI’s candidate Ajmal Cheema had then secured 31153 votes.

Subhani is son of ex-MNA Ch Abdul Sattar and nephew of Ch Muhammad Akhtar of Viro village of Sialkot.

Dr Nadia Aziz is another PTI woman who is in the run on a general seat from NA-90 (Sargodha district). A turncoat, who left the PML-N to join the PTI, Dr Nadia is contesting against one of the three cousins of PTI chief Imran Khan.

PML-N has fielded Irfanullah Niazi from this constituency who is brother of Inamullah Niazi and Hafeezullah Niazi. 

A medical practitioner by profession, she was first elected as Member Provincial Assembly of the Punjab in General Elections held in 2002.

She returned to the Provincial Assembly for the second time in 2013 elections. She is daughter of a local politician Malik Aziz-ul-Haq.

Ghulam Bibi Bharwana is contesting from NA-115 (Jhang) against Sheikh Waqas Akram who is in the run as an independent candidate.

She is also a turncoat who left the PML-N quite recently to join the PTI.

Ms Bharwana was first elected as MNA on the PML-Q ticket in 2002.

She was elected to the Lower House of the Parliament for the second time in 2008 while contesting on the election symbol of the PML-Q.

Bibi returned to the National Assembly for the third time in 2013, but this time she had the election symbol of the PML-N.

Dr Yasmin Rashid who is in the run from NA-125 (Lahore), is a well known Gynaecologist-turned-politician.

Since the PML-N has issued ticket to Maryam Nawaz Sharif from NA-127, Dr Yasmin would now be contesting against former Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik of the PML-N.

PPP has given its ticket to Hafiz Zubair Kardar from this constituency. Dr Yasmin lost to Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in a hotly contested by-election held in September 2017.

Fatima Tahir Cheema is a PTI candidate from NA-168 (Bahawalnagar).

She is daughter of a noted politician from Bahawalnagar, Tahir Bashir Cheema, who was previously associated with the PML-N. So far, no mainstream political party has issued ticket to any candidate from this constituency.

Khadeeja Aamir is another PTI woman contesting from NA-173 (Bahawalpur). She is also a turn coat who left the PPP to join the PTI in a recent spate of defections from other parties.

She would be facing Mian Najeebuddin Awaisi of the PML-N in the July 25 contest. Khadija had been a member of the Lower House of the Parliament from September 2010 to 2013. She had won this seat in a by-poll by defeating her present rival Najeebuddin who in turn took revenge by defeating her in 2013 elections.

She had contested her last election on the election symbol of the PPP.

She is wife of Ahmad Yar Warran who was disqualified by the court as MNA in 2010.

Tehmina Dasti who is contesting from NA-182 Muzaffargarh is daughter of Sardar Amjad Hameed Dasti (late), who was a known political figure of the district. Amjad Dasti served as Provincial Minister and Member of Punjab Assembly for seven terms. Tehmina’s grand-father, Sardar Abdul Hameed Dasti served as Chief Minister Punjab before the One Unit.

Tehmina is contesting against Qasim Hanjra of the PML-N and is a fist-timer.

Syeda Zahira Basit Bukhari is in the run from NA-184 (Muzaffargarh). She is contesting against Jamshaid Dasti of Awami Raj Party and Syed Haroon Sultan Bukhari of the PML-N.

The latter is son of Makhdoom Syed Muhammad Abdullah Shah Bukhari who served as Member, District Council Muzaffargarh during 1998-99; and as Nazim, Muzaffargarh during 2001-02.

Haroon Sultan was a Member of Provincial Assembly of the Punjab during 2002-07 and 2008-13 and also functioned as Minister for Livestock & Dairy Development during 2003-07.

He returned to the Punjab Assembly for the third consecutive term in 2013 and served as Minister for Housing, Urban Development & Public Health Engineering. He also served as Minister for Social Welfare & Bait-ul-Maal.

Zartaj Gul is facing the tough challenge of contesting against Awais Khan Leghari of the PML-N from NA-191 (Dera Ghazi Khan). Ms Gul, a 28-year-old candidate, is a novice in politics but a committed political worker who started her journey with the PTI as a volunteer at Shaukat Khanum Hospital.

From the province of Sindh, Halima Bhutto, a little known PTI worker, is contesting against Bilawal Bhutto from NA-200 (Larkana).

She belongs to an ordinary family of Bhuttos who have never been in politics before. 

Qurat Ul Ain is in the run from NA-201 (Larkana).

She would be facing Khurshid Junejo of the PPP on July 25. She is also a PTI worker coming from a non-political family.

Flight Lieutenant (retd) Musarrat Shah is a PTI candidate from NA-202 (Kamber Shahdadkot).

She is also a first-timer. PPP is yet to finalise its candidate from this constituency.

Ghazala Hussain is another PTI candidate from Sindh who never contested any election before. She is contesting from NA-211 (Naushehro Feroze) against Syed Abrar Ali Shah of the PPP.