Lahore: Kirshna Kumari Kolhi from Thar in Pakistan’s Sindh province will become the first-ever Hindu woman Senator in the Muslim-majority country, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party said today.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has accepted the papers of 39-year-old Kolhi who was nominated by the ruling PPP for a Senate seat on minority from Sindh Assembly. The election will take place on 3 March.
“Kolhi will be the first-ever Dalit woman in Pakistan who becomes a Senator,” a PPP spokesman said in a statement today.
Kolhi’s caste is mentioned at No. 23 in the Pakistani Schedule Castes Ordinance-1957.
“The honour to nominate first-ever non-Muslim Senator is also enjoyed by the PPP, which elected a Dalit, Dr Khatumal Jeewan, as Senator in 2009 on a general seat. Likewise, Engineer Gianchand is the second Dalit to be elected as Senator in 2015 by the PPP also on a general seat,” the spokesman said.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led PPP also nominated and got elected Hariram Kishorilal as Senator on a seat reserved for non-Muslims from Sindh in 2012.
“With the election of Kirshna Kolhi and Anwar Laldean, a Christian worker of the party, the number of non-Muslims elected so far as Senators by the PPP would grow to six, an unmatched representation in the Upper House for minorities by any other political parties in the 70 years history of Pakistan,” the spokesman added.
Kolhi belongs to a remote village in Nagarparkar district of Thar in Sindh province.
Born to a poor peasant, Jugno Kolhi, in February 1979, Kolhi and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail owned by the landlord of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student at the time when held captive.
She was married to Lalchand at the age of 16 when she was studying in 9th grade. However, she pursued her studies and in 2013 she did masters in sociology from the Sindh University.
She had joined the PPP as a social activist along with her brother, who was later elected as Chairman of Union Council Berano.
Kolhi also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas.
She is from the family of the valiant freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi, who had waged a war against the invading British colonialist forces when they had attacked Sindh from Nagarparkar side in 1857. Subsequently, he was arrested and hanged by the Britishers on 22 August 1858.