PESHAWAR: Baseerat Khan, the woman Member of KP Assembly from tribal districts associated with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), says when she was taking oath of her office, she also brought her 18-day-old son with her who was born with a major surgery.
Hailing from Shinwari tribe in Landikotal, Khyber tribal district, Baseerat Khan has done Master’s in International Relations and Political Science. She said in an interview with TNN that it is difficult to work in the political field with children, but she has taken this responsibility and she would fulfill her responsibilities.
She has earlier served with international institutions as a monitoring officer and also worked in health and education sector before joining politics. Baseerat Khan said merged of erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a huge development because it paved the way for first ever provincial elections in tribal districts and more tribal representatives entered the Assembly to raise voice for the rights of people.
She said joining politics for a woman from tribal districts is like a dream come true. She said her party needed an educated woman who can speak for her people and she did not miss that opportunity to serve her people. She said politicians doesn’t necessarily benefit the people financially, but they can change lives with positive legislation.
The BAP MPA said she enjoyed full support from her family in her endeavors. She said her father was a driver by profession, but he wished to give higher education to his children. She said she has made all achievements in her life with full support of her family. She said that after marriage, her husband also fully supported her that is why she is fully focused on her goals.
Baseerat Khan said she initially thought that politics will be a difficult choice, but now her success story has inspired many girls in tribal districts who have rejoined education and want to follow her footsteps. She said it is a big change that even people from humble background are joining politics in tribal districts now which wasn’t the case earlier.
Baseerat Khan acknowledged that people’s expectations are very high, but many things are not under her control. She said a lot has to be done in merged districts as people are deprived of basic rights. She said she is currently focusing more on providing facilities in health and education sector. She said she is also holding meetings with donors to arrange sessions for tribal women to create political awareness among them.
Baseerat Khan said women often discuss the problems of water and electricity with her. She said these are the issues of women because they have to fetch water and firewood from far off areas on their heads due to lack of electricity and clean drinking water facilities.
The woman lawmaker said the shortage of schools in tribal districts is the main reason behind low literacy rate. She said she also wants to bring more women in tribal districts in sports as there is a lot of talent in these areas. She said 200 women players are needed in the upcoming sports event in Khyber Sports Complex and she is trying to bring as many women players there as possible. She said she is also visiting hospitals to improve facilities there.
Baseerat Khan said her experience in the KP Assembly is good and women lawmakers are facing no problems as such.