Ruquiya Hashmi, a doctor and a former soldier, faces a double challenge -- as well as being Hazara she is also the first woman to stand in Quetta for the national assembly. For the past few days she has had threatening phone calls and letters sent to her offices. She is running for Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), an ally of the outgoing government, but she is determined to stand up to the extremists. In the city that has become the epicentre for record sectarian bloodshed in Pakistan, Shia candidates are braving death threats to make themselves heard in Saturday's election. - Photos and text by Agencies

Pakistani candidate for national assembly for Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) party Ruquiya Hashmi, waves to supporters during an election campaign meeting in Quetta.
Pakistani candidate for national assembly for Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) party Ruquiya Hashmi, waves to supporters during an election campaign meeting in Quetta.
Hazara Shia community members and supporters of Ruquiya Hashmi, carrying electoral posters as they take part in an election campaign meeting.
Hazara Shia community members and supporters of Ruquiya Hashmi, carrying electoral posters as they take part in an election campaign meeting.
Ruquiya Hashimi (C) talks to people during her election campaign corner meeting.
Ruquiya Hashimi (C) talks to people during her election campaign corner meeting.
A woman holds a poster of Ruquiya Hashimi during her election campaign rally.
A woman holds a poster of Ruquiya Hashimi during her election campaign rally.
People lean against a wall with posters of Ruquiya Hashimi and a painting of Pakistan's national flag outside her election campaign office.
People lean against a wall with posters of Ruquiya Hashimi and a painting of Pakistan's national flag outside her election campaign office.
Ruquiya Hashimi (front R) talks to people during her election campaign corner meeting.
Ruquiya Hashimi (front R) talks to people during her election campaign corner meeting.

Comments (6) Closed




Mustafa Razavi
May 09, 2013 11:50pm
A poster read; :Intakhabi Nishan Cycle" rather than a picture of cycle. That tells me Hazara is an educated community. In Parha Likha Punjab, the poster must carry a picture, you can't count on writings to convey the message.
Adil Jadoon
May 10, 2013 12:57am
She is running for the wrong party though. Hazara's have suffered so much during the last government's tenure due to a lack of interest in their problems that it is difficult for one to justify voting for the same party that has failed them so terribly
Talat Behzad
May 10, 2013 03:32am
Keep it up Ms.Hashmi.I salute you and pray that you emerge as victorious.Khuda aap ki Hifazat karay.
salman
May 09, 2013 10:24pm
Khuda khair karay
skeptic
May 09, 2013 07:57pm
we are proud of you my sister,tc
Raja Farhat abbas
May 10, 2013 08:03am
Well done dear sister stay strong may Allah make you succeed.