ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday took action against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate from Muzaffargarh who declared it ‘haram’ to vote for women in a video which went viral over social media.
The deputy commissioner and district monitoring officer (DMO) ordered to send the video footage of the NA-186 candidate to a forensic laboratory for analysis after Pakistan Today reported the incident and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s wife Tehmina Durrani raised her voice against Sultan in a series of tweets.
During a rally in his constituency, Sultan – who is contesting 2018 elections against PTI candidate Zehra Basit Sultan Bukhari – said he will follow the directions of religion and will abstain from casting a vote to any female candidate as it is considered “haram” [forbidden in Islam].”
“I will work under the commands of Allah and His messenger…and will desist from doing the contrary,” he added.
DURRANI RAISES CONCERNS:
Reacting to the statement, Durrani condemned the act and demanded of the PML-N to “ride of” the candidate. “My instructions for all women in Muzaffargarh as a woman consistently concerned for their future is to vote against Haroon Sultan. He is standing there neither for welfare nor progress. Dump him like he dumped u,” she tweeted.
Durrani declared that Sultan was “not a 21st century Muslim” as he was only representing his gender. She added, “All Muslims and women should ban his every gathering and fail him in each and every polling station.”
Pmln Qaide who is forwarding his daughter , and my husband who is married to a fighter for women’s rights must immediately withdraw Haroon Sultan’s ticket on grounds of a contradiction to political policy. He hz disgraced the party. #TDF4SWS
— Tehmina Durrani (@TehminaDurrani) July 3, 2018
She said, “Pmln Qaide who is forwarding his daughter, and my husband who is married to a fighter for women’s rights must immediately withdraw Haroon Sultan’s ticket on grounds of a contradiction to political policy. He hz disgraced the party.”
Later on, Durrani welcomed the ECP decision and said, “Women are resilient, competent, and hard working. 53% of workforce ‘buried’ is a nation lost beyond the time of ‘jahalia’.”
HAROON SULTAN DENIES ALLEGATION:
The DMO also directed Sultan, a former provincial minister, to appear in person on July 12. Subsequently, Khalid Javed Bukhari, the counsel representing the candidate appeared before the DMO and submitted the statement of Sultan in which he stated that he respects all men and women and that his statement on social media was presented by opponents in a way to make it look like a violation.
The DMO ordered for sending the video clip to forensic laboratory for analysis and directed that the candidate should appear in person before the DMO on July 12.