KARACHI - Over a decade-long gang warfare in Lyari has damaged the Pakistan Peoples Party’s popularity in its traditional constituency.

Majority of the Lyari and other gang war dominated areas residents believed that the PPP-led government had patronised the criminal mafias to gain their illegitimate political objectives while ruined the future of a young generation of Lyari since 2005 and still awarding party tickets to the people have had patronised the gangs.

According to a survey conducted by The Nation, only a day is left for the polling, the PPP leadership and candidates of NA-246, comprising Lyari and old areas, are still failed to maintain the rhythm which was witnessed in the previous elections. Similarly, the PPP candidates from NA-248 comprising Keamari, Hub River Road, coastal belt of Hawksbay, and others are not sure to secure the PPP traditional seat. Both constituencies were remained PPP’s stronghold.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto is starting his political carrier from Lyari and Larkhana, but he faced difficulties to carry out his election campaign from Lyari. Bilawal look disappointed in his first appearance in Lyari after submission his nomination papers, he witnessed the people aggressions, who were chanting slogans against his party, but many people were giving Bilawal warm welcome.

On the other side, Qadir Patel had earlier, lost his seat from NA-239 currently NA-248, due to his allege association with Lyari gang war, but after the delimitation of the constituency, PPP have a chance to secure his seat, but the Pak Sarzameen Party candidate Yousuf Shahwani is confident to win the seat. Shahwanai said that he had won the constituency in 2013 election, on the platform of the MQM, and he could secure the seat. However, PPP candidates seem extraordinary confident to win the seats while election environment pointed out PPP victory with low voting turnout.

Some PPP former workers, requested not be named, told that the thousands of people were killed and such number of people shifted to other localities due to unrest in the PPP dominated areas, but PPP-led government in its tenure did not take initiative to tackle the situation and continue their support to the gang war elements..

The upcoming general election would give a tough time to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in its strong hold areas Lyari as a number of PPP former workers, who were victimised by ganger war, have emerged against the PPP candidates. Lyari, area of PPP die-hard workers, remain ignored because of the party decisions and ignorance.

Lyari-based PPP workers and local leadership have warned the party leadership time-to-time that if they again allot party tickets for the election to the gang war’s backed leaders, the party may lose badly in the coming elections.

In 2008, the PPP-led government spent billions of rupees on several projects including health, education and other developments, but on the other side, the Lyarities are still not satisfied and said that despite the allocation of big amount for the developments in Lyari, nothing has been done on the ground.

In the name of ‘Lyari Development Project initiated by President Asif Ali Zardari, a huge grant was allotted, but unfortunately funds were misused and no major perceptible change has been witnessed in the town.

It was also witnessed in the previous general election of 1997, PPP won the national assembly seat from Lyari with the nominal lead of only 175 votes. PPP have won seats in Lyari since its formation by its slain founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

The former president and PM ZA Bhutto won the Lyari seat for national assembly by getting over 0.1 million votes. Similarly, Benazir Bhutto and currently President Asif Ali Zardari had also bagged record victories from Lyari but now PPP is speedily losing its popularity. The PPP critics have termed it as negligence of PPP elected representatives.