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.
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.
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.
Ruquiya Hashimi (front R) talks to people during her election campaign corner meeting.