President Karzai votes for female Hindu candidate in Afghan election: sources
Afghan President Hamid Karzai chose a female, Hindu candidate when he voted in Saturday’s parliamentary election, two palace officials close to him said. Just two Hindu candidates were on the list of about 600 vying for parliamentary seats in the Afghan capital. Karzai’s choice could annoy supporters in deeply conservative, Muslim Afghanistan.
(Photo: President Karzai casts his vote in Kabul September 18, 2010/Andrew Biraj)
His backers include powerful ex-warlords who were fielding their own candidates and religious conservatives who are opposed to female politicians and unlikely to be happy Karzai is backing a non-Muslim.
“It was Anar Kali Honaryar,” one palace official told Reuters, giving the name of a female activist who largely relied on Muslim supporters during her campaigning.
Hindus lived in Afghanistan long before the advent of Islam in the 7th century. Their numbers shrank over the centuries and tens of thousands of those who remained fled Afghanistan after civil war broke out in 1992, leaving just a few thousand behind.