Wasim Arif has contributed this post for Lahore Nama.
The forthcoming elections (or should I say selections!) are expected to be controversial. That said there are individuals contesting in this election that richly deserve support and should be elected, one such person is Munnaza Abdul Razzaq who is standing in Lahore NA121.
Munnaza Razaq is a unique candidate and deserves support for she is not a party political animal but simply a lay person like you and me who has had enough of the same scoundrels ruling over us and has chose to make a stand by standing in Lahore NA121. An article in The News alerted me to her candidature and instantly secured her my support. The full article is shown below:
A Candle in the Wind
Well-educated and visibly determined Munnaza Abdul Razzaq wants to do her best to change the lot of poor women and children. Contesting from NA-121 and PP-149, Munnaza is perhaps the only independent female candidate in Lahore District whose agenda is to struggle for the rights of the people.
She doesn’t belong to any political family or any ideology. Born to a middle-class family, she has keenly observed past elections. She wants a change in the system and end to exploitation of the have-nots on one pretext or the other.
Her constituency NA-121 has a large number of poor and unemployed voters who live under the most appalling conditions and have always been ignored by all political parties in the past. Deeply moved by plight these poor people, she has decided to contest elections.
In a brief talk, she said: “Victory or defeat does not matter to me. What matters is raising a voice for the poor and the helpless, especially women.” Munnaza says she is alive to the Pakistan’s electoral circus and believes that there is not even a single political party which is seriously working to end plight of the poor. “I want to deliver. I am also a victim of this system. Therefore, I have decided to jump into the fray. I want to contribute as an educated and concerned citizen of this country”.
Munnaza has her agenda that focuses on provision of education to all, elimination of narcotics and other criminal activities in the area, free medical services, provision of clean drinking water and a proper drainage system, assistance and support to destitute women. Holding MSc and MEd degrees, she leaves home at 7am for canvassing in an old and borrowed van. Accompanied by her campaign manager Naheed Khan, another promising young girl, she goes door-to-door, distributes leaflets and holds corner meetings and returns home.
For me, irrespective of the election results Munnaza and her campaign manager Naheed have already achieved victory with distinction because they have chosen to stand tall, they have decided not to say silent instead they have chose to make a stand and I salute them both from the bottom of my heart for it.
Munnaza’s candidature represents an oasis of hope in a desert of pessimism. She is as The News coins a candle in the wind and I beg Lahore voters to support her for NA-121 and PP-129. If they do they will return someone who is from them, someone who has no lust for power or office but only a wish to serve her people. Such selfless people are one in a billion and thus the legendary people of Lahore must make their views count in her favour.
At Other Pakistan we are not only supporting Munnaza openly and with fervour but moreover we are working towards support for her across the blogosphere. With regards to this I have made contacts with Teeth Maestro and other leading bloggers with a view to a joint campaign to support her candidature online and on the ground. I believe Munnaza Razaq could serve as a test case of the power of the blogosphere if all blogs decided to support her online and worked for her on the ground to ensure she wins in NA121 and PP129.
Just imagine the precedent it would set if she was elected thanks to the support from the Pakistani online community who could help to mobilise LUMS students and their respective action committees via their blogs and the Emergency List as well as motivate Lahore’s joe public to campaign and vote for her. I believe if we all join together we could elect Munnaza and thus I urge all blogger friends to support her on their blogs and urge OP visitors to support her too through your friends in Lahore, who knows she could win!
Help Needed – I have made no contact with Munnaza to date as I only have her address information which is 286/B, Qazafi Park, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Lahore. However I need to make contact with her so if you reside in Lahore in Gulshan-e-Ravi could you please ask Munnaza or Naheed to make contact with me via firstname.lastname@example.org though as I hope to contact them both with a view to an online interview for OP readers which will form a major chunk of our online campaign of support for her across the blogosphere.
Other Pakistan is the brainchild of Wasim Arif; its vision simply is to create an ’other’ Pakistan by providing a forum for discussion and debate amongst Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis on how to create a better Pakistan. He encourages debate from all readers and he can be contacted at email@example.com or via the Other Pakistan website here