Hailing from the Landikotal region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tribal district Khyber, Baseerat Khan is the first female from her region to become a member of the KP assembly. She is associated with the Al-Haaj Karavan, which has joined the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).
She is looked upon as a powerful, talented iron lady who is breaking the stereotypes to lead her people to a better future.
Cherry on top, Ms. Baseerat Khan has been elected as a member of six standing committees of the provincial assembly.
In an interesting development, the Shinwari MPA was given the membership of 6 standing committees of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.
These include Information and Public Relations, Local Government and Rural Development, Population Welfare, Zakat, and Ushr and Women Development, Science and Technology, and House and Library.
Baseerat Khan Shinwari will now attend meetings of all the six committees and raise issues of her constituency and the rest of tribal districts.
Ms. Baseerat has done a Master’s in International Relations and Political Science. In a recent interview with TNN, she said that the merger of erstwhile FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a huge development. Thanks to the FATA-merger, we had the first-ever provincial elections in our tribal districts. Also, it paved the way for more tribal representatives to enter the provincial assembly and raise voice for the rights of their people.
“Our party needed an educated woman who can speak for her people. Politicians don’t necessarily benefit the people financially, but they can change lives with their positive legislation,” she said in her interview.
At first, I thought maybe politics will be a difficult choice for me, but now my success story has inspired many girls in tribal districts who have rejoined education and want to follow my footsteps.”
Baseerat Khan said she is aware that people’s expectations are very high, but many things are not under her control. A lot has yet to be done in the merged districts as people are deprived of basic rights since day one.
As for her current plans, Ms. Baseerat explained that she is currently focusing more on providing facilities in the health and education sector. She is also holding meetings with multiple donors in order to arrange learning sessions for tribal women to create political awareness among them.
The aspiring Pashtun lawmaker also pointed out that the shortage of schools in tribal districts is the main reason behind the low literacy rate. She also expressed her plans to bring more women in tribal districts in sports as there is a lot of talent in these areas.
When asked if her experience in the provincial assembly as a female came with any challenges, Ms. Baseerat said that her experience in the KP Assembly has been good so far and that women lawmakers are facing no problems as such.
It is women like Ms. Baseerat Khan Shinwari who make us proud of belonging to a region of not only brave men but brave women too — women who have the power to stand for their people and whose intellect can change our future.
Team PashtoScoop congratulates Ms. Baseerat Khan for her achievement and wishes her the best of luck for her future endeavours. Here’s hoping that more women will follow her lead and empower themselves for the greater good.