Pakistan’s senate elections: Win of Hindu woman makes history

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  By Muhammad Luqman

Krishna Kumari  from Southern Pakistan’s less developed district of Tharparker has become first woman to represent the religious minorties  in upper house of the parlaiment of the South Asian nation. Hailing from low caste Hindu Kohli tribe, she  was fieled by Pakistan’s left leaning People Party for the woman seat of the senate from Southern province of Sindh. 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. “   I will  bring issues of  marginalized Hindu community in Thar to limelight and help them get resolved through pro-people legislation,” Kumari had told media after submitting her papers in Karachi last month. Krishna Kumari, belonging to a remote village in Nagarparkar district, was 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 was 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 unofficial results of the elections, ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has won 11 seats in the  central Pakistan  province , Punjab and two seats from the federal capital. In Sindh , Pakistan People’s Party won most of the seas while in Khyber PakhtunKhawa and Balochistan , no party could get a majority.

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