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Dir women ‘allowed’ to cast vote

March 27, 2013

—File photo

TIMERGARA: All political and religious parties in Lower Dir agreed on Tuesday to back women’s participation in voting and follow the election code of conduct during the upcoming general election.

In this regard, an all parties’ meeting was held at Timergara Rest House, which was attended by contesting candidates and local heads of different political and religious parties, sources privy to the meeting told Dawn.

JI district chief Maulana Asadullah and its candidate for NA-34 Yaqub Khan, JUI-F district amir Qazi Fazlullah, ANP district general secretary and candidate for PK-94 Mohammad Ayub, PTI district president Fakhruz Zaman, PPP district president Khurshid Ali and general secretary Khadimul Islam, PML-N’s Samiullah Khatir and QWP district president Mohammad Umar attended the meeting.

The sources said that issues discussed on the occasion included Election Commission of Pakistan’s code of conduct for political parties, law and order situation, hate speeches, women’s participation and election campaign.

The parties agreed to strictly follow the ECP code of conduct and avoid hate speeches against each other.

The issue of women’s participation was discussed in detail and it was announced that no political or religious party would bar women from voting. However, the parties expressed concern over the establishment of only six separate polling stations for women in the district. They urged the commission to increase the number of polling stations for women in the district and set up at least one such polling station in each union council. They said that both men and women of the district would not like to cast vote in the same polling station.

When contacted, Mr Asadullah confirmed that these issues were discussed and said that after their meeting the politicians also met deputy commissioner Zubair Khan, Dir Scouts commandant Col Kamran Aslam and district election officer at their offices. He said that they assured the authorities of their full cooperation to ensure peaceful elections.