Nowadays, women are breaking stereotypes across Pakistan and are gradually proving their prowess in all fields of life. To that end, women of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are not lagging behind, and are exhibiting their interest in adventure and motorsports.
Salma Marwat, from Lakki Marwat District in K-P, has made a name for herself by becoming the first woman to win the Chakwal 4×4 challenge off-road rally, proving that she is one of the fastest racers in the country.
The race was a national-level event and prior to participating in it, Salma had already finished first in the women’s category of another national jeep rally held in Balochistan. She also won the top slot in the annual Indus-Water Cross Rally that took place in Swabi District this year. Not only that, but she was also the winner of the 2018 Sarfaranga Jeep Rally held in Skardu.
Though Salma hails from Lakki Marwat, she has been living with her family in Islamabad for the past few years. In addition to motorsports, she is also continuing her academic pursuits and is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at a university in Islamabad.
Salma Marwat not only encouraged other women to pursue their interests but also stressed the crucial role that sports could play in defeating terrorism.
“It had been extremely difficult for women of the tribal areas to come out of their homes but through my participation in adventure sports, I want to portray the peaceful face of our region,” Salma said.
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Salma Marwat Khan becomes the fastest Pakistani female driver of the 4 by 4 Rally: Salma Marwat Khan has emerged as a role model for many by winning the inaugural Chakwal 4 by 4 off road rally challenge. #ChakwalRace #SalmaMarwatKhan #Championship #Winner #dailytimespakistan https://dailytimes.com.pk/375570/
She added that she feels honored to be a female participant in the 100-kilometer race and win the title because the rallies require a lot of physical strength as they take place in rugged and mountainous regions as well as barren lands and deserts. However, her passion and interest in the sport allowed her to overcome all the challenges.
“I belong to a Pashtun family and owing to our conservative values, I was initially not permitted to participate in sports, but having my mettle proven by bagging first positions in both national and international races, I now have the support of my family.”
Salma Marwat added that women should take an interest in recreational activities and stated that adventure sports can provide one with the opportunity to see the entire world.
In January 2019, Salma grabbed the first position in the Indus-Water Jeep Rally competition wherein 30 drivers participated, including four women.
“Until now, I have participated in eight national-level competitions out of which I have won four,” Salma explained with an air of confidence. “The competitions included races extending from 100 kilometers to 110 kilometers.”