Activists of PTI march during a protest rally against alleged rigging at NA-250.— Photo by ONLINE
Activists of PTI march during a protest rally against alleged rigging at NA-250.— Photo by ONLINE

KARACHI: The results announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday show that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has emerged as an important party in Karachi, polling over 50,000 votes in at least one National Assembly constituency.

In NA-245, North Nazimabad, a stronghold of the Muttahida Quami Movement, Riaz Haider obtained about 54,000 votes against Muttahida Qaumi Movement candidate Rehan Hashmi, who polled a little over 100,000.

Similarly, in NA-246, Federal B Area, another locality where the MQM has enjoyed a somewhat unrivalled monopoly, Amir Sharjeel of the PTI polled about 32,000 votes, whereas his heavyweight MQM opponent Nabeel Gabol, former PPP stalwart, obtained 139,386 votes.

In NA-243, another MQM dominated area comprising North Karachi and New Karachi, Zahid Hussain Hashmi of the PTI got about 30,000 votes while the MQM contestant got 192,678 votes.

Rashid Siddiqui of the PTI in NA-247 (Liaquatabad) got over 35,000 votes and NA-251 (Mehmoodabad) contestant of the PTI Raja Azhar polled nearly 39,000 votes.

PTI chief Imran Khan did not address any rally in his electioneering campaign in Karachi. The one major rally he had addressed here was in December 2011. Yet looking at the numbers one can easily deduce that the PTI has built a significant voter base in Karachi.

Mohammed Hanif, Karachi-based journalist and novelist, explains the development as: “Karachi would be a natural kind of PTI constituency. Its campaign was targeted at the urban masses who are agitated and Karachi is filled with such kind of people. Also when we talk about the Pakistan Peoples Party’s incumbency factor then the same reason can be applied to the MQM. It has been in Karachi for a long time, having been in power since Musharraf’s days. People want to try someone new hence these numbers are not surprising.”

Moreover, the PTI polled vote figures are equally impressive in provincial constituencies. In PS-103 (Karachi 15), PTI candidates Zareena Sarwar, Siddiqullah of PS-104 (Karachi-16) and Abid Jilani of PS-120 (Karachi-32) obtained over 17,000 votes. Then there were three other PTI contestants who polled more than 20,000 votes — Muhammad Jawed Jillani of PS-105, Ataullah Khan PS-119 and Erum Butt PS-116. Arsalan Ghumman put up a good fight at PS-118 where he scored 31,802 votes against the MQM candidate, who obtained 56,145 votes.

As to how the MQM should look at these numbers, Mr Hanif says: “I hope the MQM realises that this is a healthy development and that voting for another candidate is good. They need to rethink their strategy rather than having an undue reaction to new realities which is not going to help them in the long run.”

He, however, cautions the first-time PTI voters: “PTI supporters need to realise that just because you stand in line for six hours and vote and your candidate loses does not mean you have to be self-righteous. First-time PTI voters need to realise that someone has to lose and this is what happens in elections.”

When Wasay Jaleel, an MQM leader, was asked by Dawn whether the party had noticed the phenomenon of the PTI bagging significant numbers of votes in its strongholds, he says: “Yes, we did notice it and we attribute this to the 10-party alliance that voted against us. We did meet some youngsters in Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Nazimabad who voted for the PTI but that’s because they are popular with the youth. The MQM sees other political parties as good competition and we do realise that they are other representatives of the people in the city but the 10-party anti-MQM alliance with boycott by the Jamaat-i-Islami worked in favour of the PTI.”

Updated May 14, 2013 07:31am

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Comments (17) (Closed)


m k
May 14, 2013 08:27am
if fair election happens in karachi without mafia infulence, MQM would be out like ANP from sindh. they thought pti will take away pml N seats and ppp/anp/will keep their originals seats and mqm will sit in their lap like always to make govt. now ppp also make their own govt in sindh, and centre is belongs to PML-N. Mr.london is having problem , he dont know how to sit in opposition. Thanks IMran Khan for waking up karachi and all pakistan. may god bless you.
Ashfaq
May 14, 2013 08:47am
Mr. Captain Khan has given people in Pakistan a hope that together we can bring change. Despite the intolerance of political army of MQM specially in Karach, the PTI has broken the cage. MQM has never done as such before. MQM is only confined to Karachi and partly in Hyderabad. Look what PTI has done. Except in Balochistan PTI has reached out people in all the rest of the country. A great moment for the common educated middle calss. Keep it up captain.
Ashar
May 14, 2013 08:52am
Wasay Jalil...the votes were polled for PTI...not the 10 member alliance...you can try to deny reality but you cannot run away fro mit. The fact of the matter is that MQM rigged these elections like no other and that you have to be answerable to Allah one day. You have no right to sit in the assemblies by ghunda ghardi and dhandli. The votes which MQM got 50% of those were fake atleast so if you minus them the margin gets very close and also PTI would win easily in some constituencies if fair elections are held.
maryum
May 14, 2013 09:13am
PTI could easy win few seats in Karachi.. Specially NA 250 but they made all the things impossible. They are actually perfect in cheating and no one can compete them.
pakiboy
May 14, 2013 09:47am
not PTI .. only imran khan .. and it is more of a emotional vote bank rather than serious one ..
Syed Hasnat
May 14, 2013 12:00pm
This is the last chance for MQM. They must deliver or be prepared to loose seats in next election.
wakeup
May 14, 2013 12:42pm

If rigging was not their by MQM & If fair results showed, PTI would be the leading party in karachi & Won all seats of karachi.

Butter luck Next time PTI.

"A Journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step"

Anon
May 14, 2013 01:18pm

How can you seriously publish this considering the outrageous rigging? All these figures on MQM are basically useless!

ashar
May 14, 2013 01:23pm

MQM should now come out of its euphoria

Riaz Ahamd
May 14, 2013 02:39pm

@pakiboy: Where is your evidence to support you comment.

Yousuf
May 14, 2013 04:14pm

@Ashar: Wake up Ashar, its Dawn.....Day dreaming is not good for youth. Come out and work hard for your success. I am sure if the polling was done on facebook, PTi would be the winner. Thanks to "Photoshop".

manzoor ali
May 14, 2013 04:19pm

This is very good for Karachi peoples bcz PTI is growing fastly hope it should be more efficient in future.

Khalid
May 14, 2013 05:08pm

@pakiboy: I agree and important question is can PTI create a second layer of leadership or is he next Altaf Hussain in the making? because everybody dies one day.. or can PTI mobilize people and engage them as they did in this election..

Zee
May 14, 2013 06:31pm

I am an ex-MQM supporter. I can never forget the kind of development and work their put in back in Mustafa Kamal's days. However, I can't keep living in the distant past forever. I must also consider the recent past. The reason I am not happy with MQM is because in my opinion, all they did in the last 5 years was pure politics.

They couldn't get what they wanted (local bodies elections), they couldn't establish peace with help of PPP. They couldn't stop the delimitation of Karachi which, lets all be honest, was highly controversial decision by Supreme Court and was unfair with Karachiites. MQM got blackmailed by PPP and ANP.

I believe their policy was a bit different this time. They wanted to show the citizen of Karachi that unless MQM is in supreme power, there will never be peace. That BACKFIRED and people like me who voted for MQM backed up off and joined PTI.

I didn't vote for MQM so that they could give me excuses and still occupy powerful seats. If you can't do anything about law and order situation, RESIGN and step aside. That will make us respect you more.

I can tell you that 97% of my Urdu Speaking friends are now with PTI.

The only way out for MQM that I see now is that they should NOT join the government. Sit in the opposition seats and RAISE your freakin' voice! Stop with the hartaals, that doesn't help us. Be civilized. Put a magical figure in front like Mustafa Kamal and wait for the next elections. Do all that and maybe Karachi will support you once again.

Or, if you do end up joining PPP in the government, do NOT give us that "power by share" crap. If you can't deliver, if PPP doesn't let you work, if you are not getting the funds. STEP ASIDE! We are Karachiites, we are civilized and modern people who make decisions using their brains and not hearts. We are not Paindos or Sindhis or Balochies who cast their votes based on everything but merit.

You want to represent us, then be us. Be civil and work for our trust. Be US!

Babish
May 14, 2013 10:25pm

@Zee: One of the most realistic presentation of the current situation I have read recently...Bravo!

mani
May 15, 2013 07:16pm

@Zee: you will get results of your decision within 5 years when you will see the condition of "naya Pakistan"

Javed Haider
May 15, 2013 09:52pm

NA 256 isnt mentioned here ,PTI got 67000+ votes thr,39+ in NA 251,54000 in NA 252 and 57000 in NA 253