KARACHI - Political parties have kicked off election campaign and vowed to replace the decades old monarchy of Muttahida Qaumi Movement while election drive indicates an extreme low voting turnout. 

“The current political scenario gives a chance to the parities to show their strength in the upcoming elections but for the first time election results will be unpredictable,” said senior political analyst Zarrar Khoro while talking to The Nation.

He said that the election mania yet to be seen across the country, even though in last general elections when terror threats were looming across the country and bombs had been exploded before the elections, enthusiasm of the voters witnessed on its peak.

Previous elections witnessed that the Urdu speaking voters used to cast their votes to MQM founder Altaf Hussain and candidates not even bear the expense of a single corner meeting as party unit and sectors of their areas used to arrange everything for the candidates. MQM still a largest party in Karachi but there is a issue that how MQM motivate the voters, Khoro said.

Karachi portrayed stronghold of the MQM where party activists used to decorate the whole constituency with portraits of party chief, party flags and election symbols but this time, number of parties are on the ground but unable to create such an environment that has been witnessed in previous elections.

Talking to The Nation, MQM coordination committee member Amin-ul-Haq said that followed by the restriction of election commission ahead of the expenditures, MQM started the door to door campaign and getting overwhelming response of the public. Decision to boycott the election from MQM Chief Altaf Hussain expected to cut down the voters’ turnout and it would difficult for MQM-Pakistan to maintain the previous position of MQM, said a senior party worker wished to be anonymous. 

Dr Muhammad Ali, Associate Professor Department of Political Science, University of Karachi when contacted The Nation analyzing the current political situation said that the PSP, PTI, PPP, MMA, MQM Haqqiqi and TPL trying to create the political environment and started the campaign but apparently all these political parities unable to motivate the voters. Dr Ali further said that the silent voters would play their role in the upcoming elections while hoped that the mobilization of the voters would be seen in the next week. He pointed out that “the voters of Karachi having sense to vote and they will cast the vote after analyzing the situation”.  

It is worth mentioning here that the party leaders and candidates have face an extreme criticism from the public side and people used to welcome various parties leaders with the eggs, tomatoes. PSP damaged the MQM party structure and appeared as an alternate of the MQM unable to touch the heart of the urban Sindh voters.

Sources privy to the matter revealed that the well-wishers supported PSP and gave a free hand to capture MQM are every much disappointed and now switching towards the PTI following previous elections results. Sources said that PSP have a task to get at least five thousands votes from a constituency.

In replying to the question, Zarrar Khoro said that PSP hardly managed to catch two to three seats from Karachi. He explained that the focus has been shifted from PSP to PTI as PTI used to give high time to the MQM in various constituencies in last general elections.  Sources privy to the matter revealed that activists affiliated with MQM having expertise to run election campaign being catch by PTI for general elections campaigns in various constituencies.

Pakistan People Party (PPP) ruled in the province since last ten years claimed to win a large number of urban seats in the upcoming polls. Khoro said that the PPP have strong vote bank in the outskirts of the city and it would be easy for PPP to achieve their goals.

Muhajir Quami Movement Haqqiqi the first faction of the MQM appeared in 1992, traditionally dominated in some parts of the Karachi including Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Lines Area have gear up the political activities while also started the campaign in other parts of the city to attract the Urdu speaking voters.

Naeem Hashmat central leader of MQM Haqqiqi contesting from NA-239 while talking to The Nation said that there is an open space for all political parties. He believes that nobody can catch the Urdu speaking voters and Muhajir Qaumi Movement providing the platform to the Muhajir voters and also drive to the destination. 

Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal a coalition of religious parities, appeared as another strong party having vote bank in various areas of the city particularly in Pushtoon dominated areas. Jamat-e-Islami a part of the MMA always contesting election against the MQM having a strong party structure seems hopeful to achieve the target.

Similarly, newly emerging party Tahreek-e-Labaik Pakistan representing Barailvi school of thought have vote bank in some of the areas, particularly Korangi, New Karachi and Kharader locality.

Khoro termed the emergence of the TLP as an important factor in Karachi politic would give though time to the other political parties but also defines the future dimensions of the urban Sindh politics.