Meet Salma Khan Marwat, the first woman to win the Chakwal 4×4 challenge off-road rally

Breaking stereotypes and conventional barriers, Salma Khan Marwat is the woman who races in the desert.

Passion and commitment see no bounds – Salma continues to prove it. Hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P)  Lakki Marwat District, a province that is traditionally known for its suppressive and orthodox values, Salma Marwat Khan has become the first woman to win the Chakwal 4×4 challenge off-road rally.

Finishing the race in only 22 minutes, she has stunned the entire country as well as inspired the youth, who look up to her to pursue their passion. Not letting anything get in her way, Salma is among the fastest racers in the country.

The race, that has drawn the national attention to her, was a national event. She also finished first in the women’s category for another jeep rally held in Balochistan. These are not all the achievements that she has on her name. She has also won a top slot in the annual Indus-Water Cross Rally, arranged in Swabi district this year. 30 drivers participated in the contest, four among them were women. She is also the winner of  Sarfaranga Jeep Rally held in Skardu in 2018.

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Salma, along with her family, has spent most of her life in Islamabad. With pursuing her passion in sports, she is also enrolled in an undergraduate program in a university in the capital and is working on her academic credentials.

Salma wants to inspire other women to advance in the field as well. Talking to a local media channel, she showed determination to portray a peaceful and progressive image of the region.

“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 while speaking to the Express Tribune.

Sharing her experience, she said it is mentally and physically challenging, but her interest and love for the sport overcomes it all.

“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.” – she added, speaking to the said source. 

She said that she wants to urge more women to pursue their passion in the challenging and non-conventional field, and take part in non-creational sports.

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