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Pakistan Elects First Female Hindu Senator

Pakistanis have elected a woman from the country's marginalized Hindu minority to the Senate for the first time ever in an election in which a cleric with links to the Taliban was defeated.

Krishna Kumari Kohli, 39, a member of the Pakistan People's Party, hails from the so-called "untouchables," the lowest rung of the caste system that still prevails in Pakistan and neighboring India.

Her election is being hailed as a major milestone for women and minority rights in Pakistan.

"I feel delighted, this was unthinkable for me to reach the Senate," Kumari Kohli told the AP.

"I will continue to work for the rights of the oppressed people, especially for the empowerment of women, their health, and education," she added.

Meanwhile, Maulana Samiul Haq, a mentor to a number of Taliban leaders, fell short in the election.

Kohli’s win followed a secret round of voting on March 3 by members of the parliament and provincial assemblies that gave the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party (PML-N) control of parliament's upper house.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and

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