Punjab polls: Pakistani bride votes for the first time in Qadian

Source: The Times of India

By | TNN

QADIAN: A Pakistan-born, 35-year-old woman who married a man living in Gurdaspur’s Qadian town in 2003, was able to vote for the time ever in her life when Punjab went to polls to elect its next legislative assembly on Saturday.

Though Tahira Maqbool lived in Pakistan till the age of 22, she never cast her vote in the four years of her adult life because she belongs to the persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslim sect of Islam. As far as India is concerned, she got her citizenship in April 2016 and exercised her franchise at the first opportunity.
In the neighbouring country, Ahmaddiya Muslims are considered non-Islamic and are allowed to vote for a separate 5% electorate of minority communities. However, as she does not consider herself non-Islamic, Tahira chose not to register as a voter there.

On Saturday, there was a spring in Tahira’s steps as she went to cast her vote to elect the MLA from Qadian. The mother of three returned from the election booth with an ineffable smile and showed off the ink on her finger with a gleam in her eyes. She cast her vote in Qadian assembly constituency of Gurdaspur district. “Polling day has come as Eid for me. After being an Indian citizen, now I am also a proud participant in the Indian democratic system,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes


Categories: Ahmadis, Asia, The Muslim Times

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