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Twelve women Secure NA seats by defying odds

The 2024 General Elections were marked by a series of unexpected twists, with the PTI-backed candidates causing a stir and reshaping the political landscape. Notably, a significant number of resilient women triumphed in the election, challenging traditional norms and securing seats in the National Assembly.

In a remarkable turn of events, 12 formidable women emerged victorious on general seats during the Feb 8 polls. The PTI-backed independent women candidates led the pack with five seats, followed closely by PML-N, whose women candidates secured four general seats. The PPP, credited with providing Pakistan its first female prime minister, managed to elect only two women candidates on general seats. Additionally, MQM-P secured one general seat for a woman candidate from Karachi.

Let’s delve into some notable victories:

  1. Shandana Gulzar Khan – NA-30 Peshawar: PTI-backed independent candidate Shandana Gulzar Khan secured victory in NA-30 Peshawar with 78,971 votes, defeating JUI-F candidate Nasir Khan, who garnered only 20,950 votes. Shandana, previously an MNA on a reserved seat in 2018, contested this time on a general seat.
  2. Aneeqa Mehdi Bhatti – NA-67 Hafizabad: PTI-backed independent candidate Aneeqa Mehdi Bhatti clinched NA-67 Hafizabad with 208,943 votes, triumphing over PML-N candidate Saira Afzal Tarar, who received 183,020 votes. Aneeqa, a newcomer to the National Assembly, entered politics due to the absence of male members of the Mehdi Bhatti family.
  3. Ayesha Nazir Jutt – NA-156: PTI-backed independent candidate Ayesha Nazir Jutt secured NA-156 with 119,820 votes, defeating PML-N candidate Ch Nazir Ahmad, who received 90,353 votes. Ayesha, the daughter of former MNA Ch Nazir Jutt, previously served as PTI’s senior vice president in South Punjab.
  4. Amber Majeed Niazi – NA-181 Layyah: PTI-backed independent candidate Amber Majeed Niazi won NA-181 Layyah with 120,499 votes, surpassing PML-N’s Sahibzada Faiz ul Hassan, who garnered 95,081 votes. Amber entered politics following the crackdown on PTI workers after the May 9 violence.
  5. Zartaj Gul – NA-185 DG Khan: Former federal minister and PTI-backed independent candidate Zartaj Gul secured victory in NA-185 DG Khan with 94,881 votes, defeating independent candidate Mehmood Qadir Khan, who received only 32,929 votes.
  6. Nousheen Iftikhar – NA-73 Sialkot: PML-N candidate Nousheen Iftikhar won NA-73 Sialkot with 112,143 votes, triumphing over PTI-backed independent candidate Ali Asjad Malhi, who secured 104,067 votes.
  7. Maryam Nawaz – NA-119 Lahore: PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif secured victory in NA-119 Lahore with 83,855 votes, defeating PTI-backed independent candidate Shahzad Farooq, who received 68,376 votes. This marked Maryam’s official entry into parliamentary politics.
  8. Tehmina Daultana – NA-158 Vehari: PML-N stalwart Begum Tehmina Daultana won NA-158 Vehari with 111,196 votes, defeating PTI-backed independent candidate Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry, who received 103,052 votes.
  9. Shazra Mansab – NA-112 Nankana Sahab: PML-N candidate Shazra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal won NA-112 Nankana Sahab with 105,646 votes, defeating PTI-backed independent candidate Ijaz Shah, who secured 93,316 votes.
  10. Shazia Marri – NA-209 Sanghar: PPP’s Shazia Marri clinched NA-209 Sanghar with 156,002 votes, defeating GDA candidate Muhammad Khan Junejo, who received 139,604 votes.
  11. Nafisa Shah – NA-202 Khairpur: PPP’s Nafisa Shah won NA-202 Khairpur with 146,083 votes, defeating GDA candidate Syed Ghaus Ali Shah, who received 28,613 votes.
  12. Asia Ishaq Siddiqui – NA-232 Karachi: MQM-P’s Asia Ishaq Siddiqui won NA-232 Karachi with 88,258 votes, defeating PTI-backed independent candidate Adeel Ahmad, who received 66,574 votes.

It is noteworthy that despite the strides made by these women, the overall representation of women candidates in the elections was limited, with only 4.91% of the total candidates being women. PML-N, PPP, and PTI supported independent women candidates, showcasing a mix of experienced political figures and newcomers in the political arena.

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