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Women MPs slam Imran for opposing quota

December 18, 2012

Imran Khan, PTI chairman addressing a public gathering.— Photo by INP

ISLAMABAD: Women parliamentarians from both sides of the aisle criticised Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan on Monday over his remarks against reserved seats for women and challenged him to compare his educational credentials with theirs.

Speaking on a point of order, PML-N MNA Anusha Rehman questioned whether Imran or his party had rendered any sacrifice for democracy or brought any legislation to parliament.

Lauding the role of female MPs, including NA Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, Nafisa Shah, Farzana Raja and Shahnaz Wazirali, she challenged Imran Khan to compare his educational credentials even with hers.

She said a man having no representation in parliament had no right to comment against women MPs who had reached parliament constitutionally and after having been nominated by their parties.

She also sought support of male colleagues and the law minister over “a breach of our privilege”.

Ms Shahnaz Wazirali said that in the past too, some people had been raising voice against the reserved seats for women, observing that Imran Khan seemed to be ignorant of the Constitution as well as social justice.

She asked Imran Khan to explain his conception of democracy, recalling that he had boycotted the 2008 general election.

She said the PTI chief wanted to drag 50 per cent population of the country into obscurity. Reserved seats were protected in the Constitution in line with the practice the world over, Shahnaz Wazirali added.

“Such comments against women’s quota are highly prejudiced, biased, discriminatory and alarming.”

Jamila Gilani of ANP said Imran’s statement was tantamount to ignoring half of the country’s population and showing his non-political approach.

Kashmala Tariq said women were struggling to get their seats increased from 17 per cent to 30 per cent.

Mr Khan’s comments proved that he did not encourage the class he claimed to represent. He should have urged political parties to bear those women’s election expenditure who wanted to contest for general seats, Kashmala Tariq said.—APP