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First African-Origin Lawmaker in Pakistan

Tanzeela Qambrani, 39, has been nominated on a women's reserved seat in the regional parliament of Southern Sindh by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Ms Qambrani hopes of raising the profile of small and poor communities that have been in the region for centuries.

She comes from the Sidi community and hopes her nomination will take away the stigma attached to it.

"As a tiny minority lost in the midst of local populations, we have struggled to preserve our African roots and cultural expression, but I look forward to the day when the name Sidi will evoke respect, not contempt," Ms Qambrani, told the BBC.

It is believed that Sidis were brought to India by the Portuguese as slaves. During the Mughal Empire they enjoyed senior positions but faced discrimination during the British Raj.

It is estimated that the Sidi population in Pakistan is around tens of thousands and they have been constant supporters of the PPP from the start.

"I can already feel the weight," she said. "I'm a Sidi, and all these middle class, lower-middle class and working class Sidis know that I'm one of them. And this means there will be expectations."

  • Tanzeela Qambrani
  • African Origin
  • Lawmaker
  • Pakistan
  • PPP