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 March 3.
“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 number 23 in the Pakistani Schedule Castes Ordinance-1957.
Kohli expressed her happiness, saying that she had “never dreamed” that she would ever make it to the upper house of Pakistan’s Parliament.
Kumari began actively working for social change in 2005 after attending several youth leadership workshops. She started out by identifying cases of bonded labor and compiling case studies of women in bondage.
“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 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.
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.