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April 17, 2013

Pakistani Woman Withdraws From Political Race After Taliban Threats

by VOA News

A woman who was running for a seat in a provincial assembly in northwestern Pakistan says she has withdrawn her candidacy after receiving threats from the Taliban.

Gullana Bibi told The Express Tribune newspaper that two men came to her house in Dabara village in the North West Frontier province and told her to withdraw her candidacy or face death. She says the men identified themselves as the Taliban and said they were from Miranshah in North Waziristan, but did not provide other details.

Bibi said family members persuaded her to withdraw her candidacy.

The 62-year-old was running as an independent candidate.

Bibi said her family originally supported her candidacy even though local customs in that area of Pakistan make it difficult for a woman to address the public.

Several women candidates have been nominated by their political parties for reserved seats in the Pakistan National Assembly, and a few have taken the lead to run as independent candidates for general seats.

Badam Zari, the first woman candidate from the tribal areas to run for a seat in Pakistan's National Assembly, is running as an independent candidate from Bajaur in the Federally Administered Tribal Area.