Home > Building pressure: Wazira Bibi under fire for speaking up against disenfranchisement

Building pressure: Wazira Bibi under fire for speaking up against disenfranchisement

Says jirga will expel her if she does not rescin­d case filed at Peshaw­ar High Court

Peshawar High Court. PHOTO: PPI

Peshawar High Court. PHOTO: PPI


A jirga in DI Khan is threatening Wazira Bibi, a woman from Kari Shah Muzai in Parowa tehsil, for speaking up against women’s disenfranchisement.

Wazira Bibi had filed a case in Peshawar High Court on behalf of all women who were barred from voting in local government (LG) elections held in the province a couple of months ago.

Wazira Bibi, along with Zarina Bibi of Landa Sharif, also in Paroha, had demanded the results of the LG elections in the tehsil be declared null and void, and a re-election be conducted. The DI Khan bench of Peshawar High Court suspended the results of the LG elections of Kari Shah Muzai and Landa Sharif in light of the petitions filed.

The decision was taken as women in both areas were reportedly not allowed to vote. The court has issued a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the district returning officer and other officials.

However, now Wazira Bibi is under pressure from local jirga members who are demanding she take her case back or she will be expelled from the area, said Matiullah, Wazira Bibi’s attorney, while talking to The Express Tribune over the telephone on Thursday. Matiullah said Wazira Bibi wants to rescind her petition because of the pressure she is facing from jirga members and the community. She has also lodged a complaint with Chowdwan police station in DI Khan regarding the threats she has received. However,
it is not in the form of a formal FIR.

Details about jirga members could not be obtained despite several requests made to  the police.

Daraban and Paroha are two of the five tehsils in DI Khan where tehsil governments have not been formed yet due to reports of alleged rigging. Multiple cases have been filed by women from these areas, which remain pending in the DI Khan bench of the
high court.

Earlier, there were reports in the local media of a document circulating in Daraban tehsil where government officials, polling station staff and jirga members had signed an agreement saying: “As per traditions of the local area, our women have never cast a vote before, and will not do so now. We, in consensus, are not allowing women to cast votes.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.

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