Women will not be allowed to vote, this was declared in most cities of KPK. This contagious disease of barring the women from voting was not only limited to KPK' ultra-conservative areas but rather spread out to several districts in Punjab as well. We understand that Peshawar High Court and Election Commission (ECP) have taken notice of the same; re-polling will be ordered in such constituencies in due course.

These are good actions to put a temporary halt to the talks, but these actions should have been taken before the elections.

Where were Election Commission and Superior Courts when all this was happening in KPK' Malakand division' Upper and Lower Dir constituencies on a large scale during May 2013 general elections? All the political and religious parties active in the area, namely -- ANP, PPP, PTI, JI, PML-Q, JUI, and PML-N signed written documented agreeing to bar women from voting. They were all in the know? They cannot claim they had no idea what was happening!

Most of the Upper and Lower Dir seats were won by Jamat-e-Islami (JI) which is now a senior partner in KPK government; thanks to electoral corruption made under the very nose of Election Commission, Superior Courts and district administration. In fact, a JI provincial assembly member, who is now a senior minister, shamelessly accepted the existence of such an agreement; he cited security reasons for the ban to avoid suicide bombers to enter polling stations disguising as veiled women!

ECP should go back to its record to segregate the polling stations wherein no women have casted votes, declare those national and provincial assemblies’ seats vacant and arrange to hold re-elections.

But if all these gross violations didn't bother ECP in May, why should there be a change in attitude?


Saudi Arab, August 23.