For the first time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Buner district, a Hindu woman named Saveera Parkash has officially submitted her nomination papers for a general seat in the upcoming Pakistan elections, as reported by Dawn. The general elections, scheduled for February 8, 2024, will determine the members of the 16th National Assembly.

Saveera Parkash is an optimistic candidate, having submitted her nomination papers for the general seat of PK-25 in Buner district. As a member of the Hindu community, she envisions contesting the elections on a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ticket, following in the footsteps of her father, Oam Parkash, a recently retired doctor and a dedicated PPP member for the past 35 years.

Notably, Saveera Parkash, serving as the general secretary of the PPP women’s wing in Buner, is a 2022 graduate of Abbottabad International Medical College. Expressing her commitment to community welfare, she specifically highlighted her dedication to improving women’s conditions, ensuring a safe environment, and advocating for their rights.

Local politician Saleem Khan, affiliated with the Qaumi Watan Party, pointed out that Parkash is the first woman from Buner to submit nomination papers for the upcoming elections on a general seat, according to Dawn’s report on Monday.

Saveera Parkash shared her aspirations in an interview with Dawn, expressing her desire to follow in her father’s footsteps by working for the underprivileged in the area. She submitted her nomination papers on December 23, hopeful that the senior leadership of the PPP would endorse her candidature.

With a background in medicine, Ms. Parkash emphasized that her commitment to “serving humanity is in my blood.” Her decision to become an elected legislator stems from her firsthand experiences with poor management and helplessness in government hospitals during her medical career.

Imran Noshad Khan, a social media influencer from Buner, wholeheartedly endorsed Saveera Parkash, irrespective of her political affiliation. He commended her for breaking stereotypes ingrained by traditional patriarchy, emphasizing the significance of a woman stepping forward to contest elections in a region where it took 55 years since Buner merged with Pakistan.

Recent amendments by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) mandate a five percent inclusion of women candidates in general seats, according to Dawn’s report.