Daunting challenges for NA-248 candidates

| Residents of Baldia Town’s Yousaf Goth boycott elections to protest indifferent lawmakers, ineffective system

2018-07-14T02:41:50+05:00 Ali Ousat

Karachi - Inundated streets with sewerage water, heaps of garbage, damaged roads, taps without water and empty schools, this is the picture of Yousaf Goth in Baldia Town area falling in the National Assembly constituency NA-248.

The same scenes can also be seen with lesser or greater intensity in other areas of this constituency.

In NA-248 constituency, all main political parties have fielded their candidates for July 25 elections. Qadir Patel of PPP, Amir Khan of PTI, Afshan Qamar of MQM, Yousuf Shahwani of PSP and Gul Khan Afridi of MMA are in the run for NA-248 seat.

A visit to the Yousuf Goth area of Baldia Town gives an impression that whole locality is in mourning with black flags fluttering on almost all houses. But these black flags are being hoisted to protest against all political parties and existing political system.

“Yes! We are hoisting black flags at our houses as we have boycotted the upcoming election,” said Hafeez Baloch, an area resident, adding, “It is against all political parties including PPP, PTI, MQM and MMA.”

He said the residents of Yousuf Goth are die hard supporters of PPP while MQM has been wining the seat since long. However no one has taken interest to develop this area.

“Inundated streets with sewerage water, heaps of garbage, damaged roads, taps without water and empty schools show the real picture of the area,” he said, while pointing finger towards piles of garbage, littering around every corner of the street.

Yousuf Goth have population of 6,000 people. It is small slum area, where registered voters, according to 2016 census, are 4000. The population mostly belongs to Baloch community and majority of them are uneducated, jobless and suffering from different diseases. They said they had no interest in elections.

“None of the resident will cast the vote on July 25,” he claimed adding “Nor, we will let anyone to hold political campaign in the area.”

“We ask them to develop the area first and then run their political campaign,” he continued.

During the previous years, the PPP had granted Rs15 million for development projects in the area, but local leaders did not spend a single penny. The houseflies roaming on the piles of garbage must think that this is the area where no one can harm them.

Jamal Nasir Baloch, another resident of the area, while talking to The Nation said, “We have been living in the locality since childhood and never seen any electable visiting the locality.

“Hoisting black flags is a peaceful expression of recording the protest against existing system,” he commented, adding “We need butter and bread, tap water and clean and tidy area like other part of the city.”

He further said that people were mostly belonged to working class, but they were buying water tanker up to Rs4,000 or Rs3,000, which is increasing their financial burden.

“I think we are unwanted population, that’s why they are giving us punishment,” he lamented.

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