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Pakistan: First ever Hindu Dalit woman elected as a Senator in Pakistan

Monday 5 March 2018, by siawi3


First ever Hindu Dalit woman elected as a Senator in Pakistan

March 5, 2018

Krishna Kumari Kohli, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), hails from the so-called untouchables, the lowest rung of the caste system that still prevails in Pakistan and neighbouring India.

In a historic win, Pakistan’s Krishna Kumari Kolhi has become the first-ever Hindu, lower caste “Dalit†woman senator for the left-leaning Pakistan People s Party, or PPP, in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.

She later worked for a non-governmental organization before joining the Pakistan People’s Party of the assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

“I feel delighted, this was unthinkable for me to reach the senate†, Kumari said. “Our parliament should have representatives of all religions, classes & genders in pursuit of true democracy†, tweeted rights activist Jibran Nasir.

Most of Pakistan’s Hindu population fled to India as part of the population exchange that followed the 1947 partition. She was elected from a minority seat from Sindh and was awarded a ticket by the PPP. Earlier, the PPP had elected first Hindu woman named Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla as a Senator.

Born to a poor peasant, Jugno Kohli, in February 1979, Ms. Kohli and her family members spent almost three years in a private jail owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district.

With her becoming a Senator, the number of non-Muslims elected by the opposition party is now six, the highest minority representation in the upper house in the history of the country. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive.

Kohli said she was married off while she was in ninth grade, but her husband and in-laws supported her education.

However, she pursued her studies and in 2013 she did her post-graduation in sociology from the Sindh University.

Kohli entered politics on the advice of her brother Veerji Kohli, who is recognised as an integral member of the PPP party and also held the position of chairman of the union council as an independent candidate.

Kolhi also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas.

Kohli, who comes from Nagarparkar village in Thar of the Sindh province, was born to a poor peasant family in 1979. Subsequently, he was arrested and hanged by the Britishers on August 22, 1858.

In the recent Senate’s elections polling was held in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies to fill 52 vacant seats, the ruling conservative Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or PML-N, party, won 15 seats, now holding 33 seats in the Senate, followed by PPP, which won 12 seats.