Dr Saveera Parkash, the first Hindu candidate to contest the general elections from the Buner constituency in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has said that, if elected, she would help build diplomatic bridges between Pakistan and India.
A doctor by profession, 25-year-old Saveera filed her nomination papers from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for the general seat of PK-25 in Buner district last week.
Ms Saveera said she has received the title ‘daughter of Buner’ while the “Muslim brothers” have not only assured her of getting their votes but also their complete support, Geo News reported on Tuesday.
If elected as a lawmaker, Dr Saveera said she would help solve the problems of Hindus living in Pakistan.
Ms Saveera said she is a patriotic Hindu and her morale has increased after receiving the ‘daughter of Buner’ title.
If elected as a provincial assembly member, she said she will play a positive role towards the relations between Islamabad and New Delhi, while the Hindu community – both in Pakistan and across the border – will be able to contact her without any hesitation, the channel reported.
The politician, who will contest one of the most crucial elections in the country’s recent political history, termed PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Goa visit in May a positive development towards fostering Indo-Pak relations.
Ms Saveera said that people stand with her and, because of this, she has never felt ostracised. She claimed she does not only have the PPP’s backing but is also receiving support from other parties, which is an indication that she will receive votes from Muslim voters as well.
“I was proud to be a part of the Pashtun culture, but when I got the party ticket for the general elections and people, including my Muslim brothers, came to know about it, I received several congratulatory and encouraging messages,” she said, sharing astonishment at receiving immense support, after which her morale “rose higher than the Himalayas”.
After winning the elections to be held on February 8, her priorities as a lawmaker would include promoting education and addressing issues like health and environmental pollution. She is also concerned about the lack of health facilities available in her district, along with the lack of education and awareness about healthcare.
Ms Saveera chose to become a doctor following the footsteps of her father, Dr Om Parkash, who worked with a passion for humanitarian service.
“Buner is a backward district where problems are aplenty and facilities are lacking,” she said.
During her house surgeoncy, the young doctor realised that she would have to do something different to rid the district of its problems.
She completed her MBBS from the Abbottabad International Medical College in 2022 and is also the general secretary of the PPP women’s wing in Buner.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)