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Gorchani woman defies tribal norms to contest local poll

Gorchani woman defies tribal norms to contest local poll

DERA GHAZI KHAN: Defying tribal norms that do not allow females to even cast vote, a woman of Gorchani tribe chief’s family is contesting direct election for the top slot of Lal Garh union council of Rajan Pur.

Shaista Bibi, who is also an aunt of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani, is vying for chairperson’s slot on a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ticket, while Shahid Hassan Gorchani is contesting for the vice-chairman seat also on PTI ticket. Ms Shaista is being opposed by PML-N district president Hassam Javed Gorchani who is also a candidate for the top slot of the tribe’s native UC.

Rajan Pur district comprises five municipal committees — Jampur, Fazil Pur, Kot Mithan, Rajan Pur and Rujhan city and one tribal area UC.

The district comprises 69 UCs, where 2,019 aspirants, including 237 panels are contesting for chairman and vice-chairman slots.

In Jampur tehsil, PML-N is divided into two groups -- one led by deputy speaker Sher Ali Gorchani while the other is being steered by Jaafar Khan leghari and his wife Meena Jaafar Leghari. Nasrulla Dareshak and his sons are backing PTI candidates there.

Another woman, Ms Ruqaya Gaddan, is contesting as an independent candidate for Nawan Baig Raaj UC chairman seat, along with vice chairman slot candidate Shakoor Taragar against the candidates of PTI and Gorchani group of PML-N.

In Fazil Pur, 9 PTI candidates are contesting for municipal committee (MC) wards top slots, PPP for 4 and two groups of PML-N for 11 seats.

In Rajan Pur city PML-N and PTI candidates are contesting for 11 MC wards while PPP’s are contesting under the banner of Awam Dost Ithihad as independent candidates in the city. Candidates of Leghari group and PTI are contesting for the top slots of the committee.

In kot Mithan, a woman, Shameem Anwar is contesting as an independent candidate in Ward No 2 of the municipal committee. One candidate of PPP is also in the field while PTI candidates are contesting for 10 seats. One candidate of PML-N is contesting on party symbol. Two groups of PML-N, respectively led by Jaafar Leghari and Sher Ali Gorchani (PA deputy speaker) have fielded their ‘independent’ candidates, respectively, on symbol of goat and bucket. Independent group led by Khawja Kaleem Koreja is also in the run.

In Rujhan tehsil, Mazaris of PML-N are said to be in a good position, while PTI stalwart Shireen Mazari is backing independent candidate in Kacha Mian Wali. As many as 30 panel for chairman and vice chairman slots are in the contest, along with 200 aspirants for general councillor seats.

In tribal area UC of Rajan Pur, tribal elder Parwaiz Iqbal Gorchani, who is father of Punjab Assembly deputy speaker, is taking part in local poll on PML-N ticket for the top slot against a commoners panel as Mazari tribal elders of PTI and Dareshaks do not want him to get elected unopposed.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2015

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