Lahore: The Milli Muslim League’s (MML) front for the upcoming election, Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT), has managed to increase its tally of women candidates on general seats to 10. According to an announcement made on Monday, the AAT’s women candidates include a founding member of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf southern Punjab chapter and another is the first cousin of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz quaid Nawaz Sharif’s wife Begam Kulsoom Nawaz. The list of AAT women on general seats also includes former members of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s women wing. Besides the 10 women on general seats, the AAT is fielding three women for women’s reserved seats and one for minorities’ reserved seats. On national assembly seats, AAT ticket holders are Iqra Muzammal (NA251 Karachi West-IV), Rabia Mukhtar (NA107-Faisalabad), Advocate Iffat Tahira Soomro (NA161 Lodhran) and Benazir Fatima Qureshi (NA181 Muzaffargarh). On provincial seats, most of AAT candidates are in Punjab: Shazia Saeed (PP14), Shazia Kosar (PP83), Mrs. Jhara Pahalwan (PP149), Syeda Tahira Shirazi (PP151), and Begam Aabida Nazir (PP225). Dr Sanam Bukhari is contesting from PS74 in Sindh. Humaira Nosheen and Farhat Naeem are AAT candidates on seats reserved for women from Punjab, and Samoail Masih seats reserved for minorities. Advocate Iffat Tahira Soomro was the founder member of PTI in southern Punjab, as well as the former president of PTI women wing in Lodhran. She has a masters degree in Politics and a bachelors degree in Law from Islamia University Bahawalpur and has been active in politics since 2007. She is also incharge of MML’s commission for women in Punjab. Soomro, an independent candidate in the 2015 bypoll in Lodhran, was the petitioner in the Multan bench of the Lahore High Court who got nomination papers of PML-N’s Sadiq Khan Baloch cancelled for mis-declaration of assets. Benazir Fatima Qureshi, a candidate from NA181, belongs to the influential Qureshi community. She has also served as the coordinator for the Benazir Income Support Programme in Muzaffargarh. Begam Saira Bano aka Ms Jhara Pahalwan is contesting the election from PP149 in Lahore. She is a first cousin of Begam Kalsoom Nawaz. In a statement made to the media, Hafiz Khalid Waleed, AAT candidate from PP167, said the MML was contesting the election to pursue its agenda of serving the humanity. “I will leave no stone unturned to solve the issues faced by the people in PP167. We would ensure free medical treatment for the poor and the needy,” he said. Published in Daily Times, July 3rd 2018.