Here’s what is happening across the border: Independent candidate Jibran Nasir detained because he couldn’t give way to a judge’s convoy
Women in several Pakistan villages still don’t vote
“Are we men dead that our women have to leave their homes to cast votes?” says Shakar Khan, a 55-year-old resident of Jahan Khan, a village in Pakistan.
In the 21st century, Pakistan still has a few villages where there is a complete ban on women voting, reported Herald. Some of these are Dhurnal, Jahan Khan and Devidas Pura. According to an Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) document, not even a single woman cast her vote at 17 polling stations in these villages in the 2013 general and provincial elections.
The ban in Dhurnal was imposed right before the 1962 general elections, when a feud between two local groups, which resulted in several deaths, was attributed by the panchayat to women.
A politician associated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Malik Yaran Khan, said the ban was so deeply entrenched in the villages that election candidates did not even try to seek votes from women. He added that he saw nothing wrong in it. “If women are happy to follow local traditions, no one should have any objection to it,” he added.
As per the Elections Act 2017, for a constituency’s votes to be valid, at least 10 per cent of the registered women voters need to turn up.
Rana Shahbaz, a resident of one such village, Devidas Pura, has worked as a PML-N activist, said he was determined to overturn the ban. “I am leading a door-to-door campaign to mobilise the women of my clan to cast their votes”, she added.
Moreover, the district office of the ECP is also running a voter education campaign that attempts to convince male villagers to allow women to vote.
Human rights activist ‘manhandled’
Human Rights activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir was allegedly beaten up and briefly taken into custody by police because he couldn’t give way to the convoy of Sindh High Court judge Faisal Kamal during heavy traffic in Karachi Monday evening, reported The News.
Jibran, who is contesting the upcoming general and provincial election, went live from his official Facebook page as he was manhandled.
Mohammad Jibran Nasir यांनी वर पोस्ट केले सोमवार, २ जुलै, २०१८
“I have gotten beaten up by a judge protocol (sic) and my clothes have been torn only because they pushed my car next to a footpath and when I stopped the car a common man like me was beaten with a chamber,” he said.
He added that, if proven a liar, he would back out from the election race.
Journalist Mubashir Zaidi, after speaking with Jibran, tweeted:
Just spoke to @MJibranNasir he was roughed up by the security officer of a SHC judge who said shukar karo thappar mara hai goli nahin mari (sic). He's in Frere Police Station Free Jibran
— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) July 2, 2018
Independent candidate climbs down manholes for campaign
Ayaz Memon Motiwala, an independent national and provincial assembly candidate from Karachi, has been drinking sewage water to highlight the plight of urban dwellers and their plummeting standards of life, reports Dunya News.
Ayaz Memon Motiwala यांनी वर पोस्ट केले मंगळवार, २६ जून, २०१८
In recent days, Motiwala has been seen enjoying a meal in the middle of a dumpster, posing inside manholes, as well as lying in a pool of sewage water – all in a bid to highlight the city’s faulty sewage system.
— Ayaz Memon Motiwala (@ayaz_motiwala) March 5, 2018
Ayaz Memon Motiwala यांनी वर पोस्ट केले गुरुवार, २८ जून, २०१८
Ayaz Memon Motiwala यांनी वर पोस्ट केले गुरुवार, २८ जून, २०१८
Army chief ratifies death sentence of 12 terrorists
Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed Monday the death sentence handed out to “12 hardcore terrorists involved in heinous criminal activities”, reported The News.
A statement from the military said the terrorists were involved in the killing of eight security personnel and 26 civilians, adding that some of them carried out the 2017 attack on the Markazi Imambargah in Parachinar, in which 22 people were killed, reported Geo TV.
The convicted terrorists were tried by special military courts.
Poll body data shows a 30% increase in non-Muslim voters
Statistics released by the Election Commission of Pakistan ahead of the 25 July elections reveals there that there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of non-Muslim voters over the past five years – raising the count to 3.63 million, reported The Express Tribune.
The country now has 1.77 million Hindu voters, up from 1.4 million in 2013, Pakistan Today reported. Christians are the second most dominant non-Muslim group at 1.64 million, followed distantly by Sikhs, Parsis, and Buddhists.
PTI candidate in trouble for using CJP, army chief photo on election poster
Nasir Cheema, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) provincial election candidate from Punjab, has landed in trouble for using the images of the army chief and Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) on his campaign advertisements and posters, reports Dawn, with a petition filed against him in the election commission.
Chief election commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza (Retd), who had summoned Cheema for a hearing Monday, asked him, “Are they related to you? What is the army chief and CJP’s link to the elections? On what basis did you put up their pictures?”
The PTI candidate said the advertisements and posters were put up before the election schedule was released. Raza, however, “was not interested in the timing”, the report added. “Regardless of when they were put up — you explain why they [images] were put up?” the retired judge said, asking Cheema to submit a written note stating reasons why he should not banned from contesting elections.
‘Criminal candidates’ have better shot at election win
According to a survey by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in Pakistan, a candidate booked under a criminal charge was three times more likely to win elections than a non-criminal candidate, reported SAMAA TV.
The survey found that accusations of murder, corruption, fake degrees or “fake children” did not taint the image of candidates. Sarwar Bari, general secretary of Free and Fair Election Network, a non-profit NGO, pointed out that Pakistan had one of the lowest voter turnouts in the world. He said, “The 40 per cent who do vote are those who are carted in on wagons and trolleys to vote,” he added.
Physically disabled to be sent postal ballots to aid voting
To help the physically disabled cast votes in the 25 July elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan will send them postal ballots, it was announced Monday, according to a Dawn report.
“Political parties and civil society organisations should work to ensure that women and physically-challenged people exercise their right to vote on 25 July as their importance for the electoral exercise can’t be ignored,” the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial election commissioner said.
Contributors: Sharanya Munsi, Hansa Kapoor, Manisha Mondal, Alind Chauhan, Prateek Gupta, Rupanwita Bhattacharjee, Anagha Deshpande and Soniya Agrawal.