Islamabad: In a groundbreaking move, Dr. Saveera Parkash, a Hindu woman, has stepped into the political battlefield in Pakistan, marking a historic moment for Buner district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On Monday, Dr. Saveera filed her nomination for the PK-25 seat, presenting herself as a candidate from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes, she is the first Hindu woman to contest elections on a general seat from Buner district, according to Salim Khan, a local leader associated with the Qaumi Watan Party.
The decision to enter politics is deeply rooted in Dr. Saveera’s family history. Her father, Om Parkash, has been an active member of the PPP for an impressive 35 years and is also a respected doctor in the community.
A recent report in Dawn News highlighted Dr. Saveera’s aspirations and commitment to the betterment of her community. She completed her MBBS from Abbottabad International Medical College in 2022 and currently serves as the general secretary of the women’s wing of the PPP in Buner.
Dr. Saveera Parkash, inspired by her father’s legacy of serving the underprivileged, expressed her desire to continue his work, particularly focusing on the welfare of women in the area. She emphasized that women have been overlooked for far too long, and she is determined to bring about positive change.
In an interview with Dawn News, Dr. Saveera shared, “I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps, as he worked for the poor. I also want to work for the women of the area.” Her vision is rooted in inclusivity and empowerment, echoing a commitment to uplift the marginalized voices that often go unheard.
As the general elections loom in February 2024, Dr. Saveera Parkash remains hopeful that the PPP leadership will endorse her candidacy. She revealed that the party leadership had specifically approached her father, expressing the desire for Saveera to contest from the general seat.
Social media influencer Imran Noshad Khan, hailing from Buner, extended his unwavering support for the candidate, irrespective of her political allegiance. He underscored the remarkable feat of challenging deeply rooted stereotypes upheld by traditional patriarchy. Imran highlighted the historical significance, pointing out that it took 55 years “since Buner merged with Pakistan for a woman to step forward and contest in elections.”
Who is Dr. Saveera Parkash, Will Historic Candidacy Lead to a More Inclusive Political Landscape in Pakistan?
Meet Dr. Saveera Parkash, a Hindu medical graduate hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner district. Driven by a commitment to public service, she aspires to vie for the general seat of PK-25, seeking the support of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Currently serving as the general secretary of PPP’s women’s wing in Buner, Dr. Saveera follows in the political footsteps of her father, Dr. Oam Parkash, a dedicated PPP member for over three decades, as reported by Pakistani daily Dawn.
The upcoming general elections in Pakistan, scheduled for February 8, 2024, will be a pivotal moment. Dr. Saveera aims to contribute to the political landscape, reflecting the broader participation of candidates as Pakistan prepares for the selection of representatives for the 266 general seats in the National Assembly. Notably, the inclusive nature of these elections allows both women and non-Muslims to contest all 266 general seats, with additional reserved seats to ensure representation. As of Monday, the news agency PTI reports that a substantial 28,626 candidates have filed their nominations, marking a diverse and dynamic electoral process.
Dr. Saveera’s journey stands as a testament to breaking barriers, challenging norms, and advocating for a more inclusive political landscape in Pakistan