Buner’s first woman minority candidate to stand in upcoming elections

Published December 25, 2023
Dr Saveera Parkash.—Photos provided by Saveera Parkash
Dr Saveera Parkash.—Photos provided by Saveera Parkash

Dr Saveera Parkash is set to be the first woman minority candidate to stand in the forthcoming general elections from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner district after submitting her nomination papers for the general seat of PK-25, it emerged on Monday.

Saveera, a member of the Hindu community, is hopeful of contesting the elections on a PPP ticket. Parkash’s father Oam Parkash, a recently retired doctor, had been an active member of the party for the past 35 years.

According to local politician Saleem Khan, who is affiliated with the Qaumi Watan Party, Parkash is the first woman from Buner to have submitted her nomination papers to contest the upcoming elections from the general seat.

Parkash completed her MBBS from the Abbottabad International Medical College in 2022 and is also the general secretary of the PPP women’s wing in Buner.

Talking to Dawn.com, Parkash said she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father in working for the area’s poor. She said she had submitted her nomination papers on December 23 (Friday).

She emphasised her desire to work for the welfare of women in the area, to ensure a safe space for them and to help them attain their rights. She said women have been “suppressed and neglected”, especially with regard to the development sector.

When asked about the party providing her a ticket, she expressed the hope she would get one, stating that the “senior leadership” had requested her father to let her run for the general seat.

She said “serving humanity is in my blood” due to her medical background, highlighting that her dream to become an elected legislator stemmed from having experienced poor management and helplessness in government hospitals as a doctor.

Imran Noshad Khan, a social media influencer from Buner, told Dawn.com that he wholeheartedly endorsed the candidate, irrespective of her political affiliation.

He added that she was “breaking stereotypes perpetuated by traditional patriarchy”, highlighting that it was necessary to recognise that it took 55 years “since Buner merged with Pakistan for a woman to step forward and contest in elections”.

According to the ECP’s recent amendments, a five per cent inclusion of women candidates is mandatory on general seats.

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