MARDAN: A graduate housewife has made history by becoming the first woman to be approved to run for election from PK-27 constituency and as a third woman to fight election from NA-10 Mardan (II) constituency, who has a ray of hope to fight for women rights.
Mumlikat Bashir, 32, may have little chance of winning, but her step toward participation in forthcoming general election is an intrusting move as any political party of NA-10 and PK-27 constituencies have not allotted party’s tickets to female candidates.
Her nomination papers have been approved for both constancies and she will contest the elections independently.
Though it will be a tough competition for Mumlikat, because former Member of National Assembly (MNA) Maulana Qasim and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ex-provincial minister of excise and taxation, Fazle Rabbani will contest election from NA-10 and PK-27 constituencies respectively and it has been observed that both have strong positions.
“I am an educated woman and I tried my best to become a teacher but because of massive corruption in all government institutions I could not get job and that is the reason behind my participation elections to eradicate corruption from the state. I have passion in my heart and I hope that people will support me. My enthusiasm is to educate girls and women and serve them” she told to The Spokesman during an exclusive interview.
“I know I am the only woman to contest election from PK-27 and NA-10 constituencies but I am hopeful that I will win” she said.
Mumlikat added that she belong to an educated family and her family was supporting her, further said that despite the fragile law and order in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, she goes door-to-door on foot for her election campaign to convince the women voters.
He said that she has never been threatened but acknowledges she cannot campaign publicly.
Mumlikat motioned that for the last ten years she was keeping ten rupees each day and summed almost 40,000 rupees which were her assets, adding that she would use such money for her election campaign.
She mentioned that political parties did not allot party’s tickets to their woman workers in NA-10 and PK-27 constituencies and deprived her from their rights, adding that she would raise the voice of rural women to the parliament if she came in power.
Mumlikat and her husband, 35-year-old Bashir Muhammd, have a short manifesto pledging to solve the problems of people in their locality, to educate girls and women, struggle for women rights and to provide free health facilities to poor people.
Bashir Muhammad said that he hoped his wife would win election and would serve the poor people by heart as she belong to a poor family and she knew how much hardships were facing women of poor families.
The couple has been married for the last 16 years and has four children including two sons and two daughters.
Women of both constituencies live in purdah and mostly not to vote but almost 4000 villagers assured Mumlikat that their women would cast vote to her.
She appealed the government to provide her security as she did not bear the expenses private security guards, asking philanthropists and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), working for women rights, to support her in forthcoming elections.
Mumlikat is the first woman who stands for election from PK-27 but two women had contested elections from NA-10 constituency in last decades. In 1977 Begam Naseem Wali Khan contested election as a candidate of Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) and got 36,585 votes out of 64,976 and total turned out was 68.6 percent. In 1985, Zarnosha got 6723 out of 50,260 while total turned out was41.7 percent, from the same constituency.