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PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is set to secure seven of the nine National Assembly seats reserved for women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa followed by the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which will get one such seat each.

Similarly, of the 22 provincial assembly seats reserved for women, the PTI will get at least 16 seats followed by two seats by the MMA and one seat each by the Awami National Party, Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians (PPPP) and PML-N.

Under the Constitution, the seats reserved for women in both the National Assembly and a provincial assembly are filled through proportional representation system of political parties’ lists of candidates on the basis of total number of general seats secured by each political party from the concerned province.

For the purpose of total number of general seats won by a political party in a province, the ECP shall also include independent returned candidates, who duly join such political party within three days of the publication in the official gazette of the names of returned candidates.

An official of the ECP told Dawn that the allocation of reserved seats to the political parties would take few days as it could only be decided after the publication of names of winners in official gazette and joining of independent candidates, if any, after three days of that publication.

Currently, the PTI has won 30 of the total 39 National Assembly seats in KP, the PML-N and MMA three each and the ANP one.

Two independent candidates are elected as MNAs, one of whom Saleh Mohammad has joined the PTI and thus, increasing the party’s strength in the house from the province to 31.

Similarly, in the KP assembly 66 seats are secured by PTI, followed by 10 seats of MMA, six of ANP, five of PML-N and four of the PPPP. Six candidates are elected in their independent capacity. However, three of them hailing from Kohistan have shown their willingness to join PTI.

According to the priority list of the PTI submitted to the ECP ahead of polls for the reserved NA seats in KP, the candidates set to become MNAs are former MNAs Nafisa Khattak and Sajida Zulfiqar, Naureen Farooq Ibrahim, Shandana Gulzar Khan, Uzma Riaz and Zille Huma.

The party had submitted eight names in its list, including those of Dr Rubina and Dr Ghazna Khalid Siddiqui at Serial No 5 and 7, respectively, but as they had not submitted nomination papers, their names are not part of the list of candidates.

Now for the seventh seat, the PTI has to name fresh candidate.

The candidates of the MMA and PML-N, who are likely to become MNAs, include Shahida Akhtar Ali and Tahira Bukhari, respectively. Both of them are former MNAs.

Similarly, the PTI had submitted priority list of 15 female candidates for the 22 seats reserved for women in KP Assembly.

Of that list, 14 candidates were declared qualified, whereas one of the women, Nadia Ambreen Khattak, whose name was at Serial No 15, hasn’t filed nomination papers.

Among the 14 candidates set to become MPAs are three former MPAs, including Nadia Sher, Maliha Ali Asghar and Aisha Naeem, and Momina Basit, Dr Sumera Shams, Rabia Basri, Dr Asia Asad, Sajida Haneef, Somi Falak Naz, Ayesha Khushnood, Sitara Afreen, Zeenat Bibi, Asia Khattak and Maria Fatima.

Two MMA nominees, including Rehana Ismail and Humaira Khatoon, will become MPAs.

Similarly, Nighat Orakzai of the PPPP will become MPAs on reserved seat for the fourth consecutive time. Former MPAs Shagufta Malik of the ANP and Sobia Khan of the PML-N will also become MPAs on reserved seats.

Some women contesting election on reserved seats are highly qualified, while several of them have little formal education.

Ms Nafeesa Khattak, who is the sister-in-law of former chief minister Pervez Khattak, is matriculate. She has declared assets worth Rs312.5 million in her nomination papers. Similarly, Sajida Begum has only mentioned ‘basic education’ as her qualification in nomination papers. Another candidate Zille Huma has passed intermediate exams.

Among the highly qualified candidates is Shandana Gulzar, who has got her master’s degree in International Economic Laws from abroad. She is the daughter of former MNA late Gulzar Khan and hails from Peshawar. Currently, she is a trade and investment adviser.

Uzma Riaz has done a master’s degree in economics and runs the privately-owned Amina Montessori and School in Abbottabad.

Shahida Begum of the MMA holds a master’s degree in chemistry besides BEd’s.

Begum Tahira Bukhari didn’t mention her educational qualification.

The candidates for MPA reserved seats, including Nadia Sher, Aisha Naeem and Rabia Basri of the PTI and Humaira Khatoon of the MMA are matriculate.

Sitara Afreen is even not a matriculate as he has mentioned ‘middle’ as her education qualification.

Both Asia Asad and Sumera Shams are medical doctors. Ms Asia Khattak has done her master’s degree in international relations besides LLB’s.

Shagufta Malik of the ANP has done her master’s degree in political science, Rehana Ismail of MMA the master’s in Islamic studies and Sobia Khan of the PML-N the master’s degree.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2018