By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s left leaning People’s Party has fielded Krishna Kumari, a Kolhi woman from Southern Pakistan’s Thar desert in the upcoming elections of Senate. Born to a poor peasant Jugno Kolhi in February 1979, Kumari and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail allegedly owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive. Kumari was married to Lalchand at the age of 16, when she was studying in 9th grade. However, her husband supported her in pursuing studies, as later in 2013 she did masters in sociology from Sindh University. She also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas. “ When elected to Senate, I will bring issues of marginalized Hindu community in Thar to limelight and help them get resolved through pro-people legislation,” Kumari told media after submitting her papers in Karachi. Krishna Kumari, belonging to a remote village in Nagarparkar district, is among the 12 candidates contesting for seats from the Sindh Assembly. Apart from Kumari, the other candidate fielded by PPP for women representation in the Senate is Quratulain Marri. Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s parliament has 104 seats. There are 18 women Senators; Pakistani constitution requires that there be at least 17 women Senators. Members of the Senate are elected according to Article 59 of the Constitution. Each four provinces are represented by 23 senators each while FATA is represented by 8 and federal capital by 4. According to Election Commission schedule, the polls for 46 seats of Senate out of 52 seats will be held on March 3 while the elections for four seats of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and two seats of Islamabad are subject to related parliamentary legislation.