Minority report

Lubna Lal, election candidate. Photograph: Samira Shackle
Lubna Lal, election candidate. Photograph: Samira Shackle

In the run up to the general election, I wrote a series of reports for the New Statesman about different minority communities in Pakistan and how they were approaching the historic election. Some were standing as candidates for the first time; others were boycotting it altogether.

Politicians of the third gender: the “shemale” candidates of Pakistan

South Asia’s hijras occupy a strange space in sociey; accepted, but on the peripheraries. This year, for the first time ever, transgender women attempted to break out of their marginalised position by standing in the election. I interviewed the candidates. I’m particularly proud of this piece.

“I am a double target because I am a woman and I am Hazara”

The Hazara are a Shia minority who face constant persecution in Pakistan. I interviewed Ruquiya Hashmi – the first female Hazara candidate for the national assembly – who faces death threats daily.

The Pakistan general election is fast approaching – but one community will not be casting votes

For this piece I spoke to members of the Ahmadiyya, a minority numbering 4 million. The Ahmadis are branded as “non-Muslims”, suffer violent attacks on their mosques and boycotted the election.


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