KARACHI - In a densely populated area of Shahnawaz Bhutto Colony of NA-253, Ghulam Rasool, 23, was busy selling fried liver at his makeshift stall just in front of Pakistan People’s Party’s newly inaugurated election office. Although the upcoming elections are approaching and a political party’s office is located in front of his stall, he seemed least interested in the election process, which showed he had lost his confidence in electoral politics.

“I don’t know when elections will be held,” he said calmly. “Let me clear one thing that they are not interested in resolving the issues of the common man.”

In his point of view, the residents of the city are facing like electricity loadshedding, water crisis, encroachment, China cutting, bribery, law and order situation and others.

Ghulam Rasool who belongs to Larkana district settled in Karachi five years back has no confidence in electoral system. He, however, believes candidates should first win the hearts of people by providing basic necessities to them.

NA-253 comprises two constituencies of the provincial assembly, PS-123 and PS-124. The area belongs to low-income people. It is the constituency where MQM ruled for last 30 years.

The residents of the constituency have faced the deteriorating law and order situation, particularly the escalating sectarian and political violence and burglaries.

The streets filled with filthy water, encroached playgrounds, illegal marriage halls, electricity crisis, unemployment and shortage of portable water are some of the big challenges for the candidates of the constituency.

The constituency had the highest 77 percent literacy rate in the city, but voters’ turnout in the last three elections remained relatively low, 32 percent, in the 2002 elections, 39 percent in 2008 and 35 percent in 2013.

It is the constituency where 54 different communities have been living together for 40 years. The sectarian and political rift has been on the peak for last two decades. The constituency has 15 slum areas, including Khawaja Ajmer Nagri, Bilal Colony, Shahnawaz Bhutto Colony, Sami Dehlvi Colony and Saeedabad.

Almost 50 percent residents are Urdu speaking while the rest are from Punjab, Saraiki and Balochistan. They were earlier supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Now PPP, PSP, Jamaat-e-Islami, PTI and some religious parties have strengthened their vote bank.

One Sunday car bazaar and two Sasta bazaars are set up every week in this constituency. According to the locals, city district, DMCs, political parties and police are making at least Rs 4 million weekly through these bazaars.

Only two water pumping stations are in working condition in this constituency whereas water theft mafia is very active here. The residents of New Karachi Industrial Area, a part of the constituency, are also badly facing the problem of water theft and the administration despite the Supreme Court orders seems helpless to stop the mafia from depriving the area of water.

Sohail Dehlvi, a resident of the area, talking to The Nation, alleged all political and religious parties are making money by encroaching upon government and private lands.

He further pointed out Khameso Goth, Ghousia Ground, Bara Market, Shah Muhammad Graveyard, Gulshan-e-Noor are hit by the worst of kind encroachment.

Faisal Sheikh, who is contesting election 2018 from the PS-123 on the ticket of PPP, urged the participants of a gathering not to vote in the name of green turban, white turban and nationalism. “I assure you that we will eliminate encroachments to save your graveyards and playgrounds. We will provide you with electricity and water,” he said.

The areas which fall under this constituency are North Karachi, Shahnawaz Bhutto Colony, Sector 1-A/4, Sector 2 and Sector 3, New Karachi’s sectors 5-A/1, 2, 3, 4, Sector 11-K, 11-1, 11-L of New Karachi, Sector 11-A, 11-B of North Karachi, Sector 4-A, Kh Ajmer Nagri, New Karachi Sector 5-C/3, 4, Sector-5-C/ 1,2, Sector 5-D, Sector 5-J Mustafa Colony, Sector 5-K, 5-L, Sector 5-F of New Karachi, Sector 5-F of Haji Mureed Goth, Sector 5-G, Sector 5-G Mustafa Colony, Madina Colony, Sector 11-D, Sector11-D and Abuzar Colony of New Karachi.