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KARACHI: Haq Parast panel sure of an easy win

September 16, 2005

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KARACHI, Sept 15: The Haq Parast panel has ruled out a tough contest for the posts of CDGK nazim and naib nazim or return of previous nazims in Karachi and Hyderabad, describing such predictions as mere propaganda.

Syed Mustafa Kamal, the Haq Parast candidate for nazim of Karachi district, told a news conference at the local press club on Thursday that he and other Haq Parast candidates would definitely emerge victorious. Syed Kamal was accompanied by Ms Nasreen Jaleel, the group’s candidate for the office of naib nazim.

Polling for the two slots is being held on October 6, in the third phase of the local government election. The CDGK electoral college comprises UC nazims/naib nazims and councillors elected in 178 UCs of the district.

Syed Kamal contended that the total strength of the CDGK electoral college was 2,314 whereas the strength of Haq Parast group was 1,362, making it much more than a simple majority.

The Haq Parast panel, backed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, advised its opponents to accept the mandate given to it by masses in the two earlier phases of the LB polls.

Out of the 178 UCs in Karachi, the Haq Parast candidates had gained majority in 103 councils, the HP candidate pointed out, who added that another 195 councillors from smaller groups and communities, as well as the independents, had also assured their support to the Haq Parast panel. He estimated that his panel would be able to bag as many as 1,700 votes.

Regarding the strength possessed by opposition groups in the electoral college, he said that Al-Khidmat group could poll around 299 votes, PPP 202, JUI 31, ANP 40, PML-N 28 and JUP six. Their combined strength, he noted, was 606 as against the Haq Parast’s own strength of 1,362.

He said that although the formal takeover would take place on October 6, the Haq Parast group had already been serving people, mitigating the sufferings of rain-affected people.

He claimed that some opposition-backed nazims, naib nazims and councillors had assured the Haq Parast panel of their support in the polling. A similar situation prevails in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas and Tando Allahyar where Haq Parast panels’ victory is certain, according to him.

Syed Kamal said: “Healthy competition in democratic process augurs well but refusing to accept ground realities and people’s mandate is undemocratic and unethical, as well as an insult to the electorate.”

He recalled that during the past four years, Rs125 billion of the city government’s funds had been wasted owing to the inept leadership, nepotism and wrong priorities. He alleged that those who feared their defeat in the local government elections had left the city and while conducting tours of different parts of the country, they had been holding press conferences and addressing seminars to propagate that Karachi was a city of terrorists and extortionists. Such people, he added, had not only been talking of bloodshed on the eve of LB polls, but also making others believe that they were making last efforts to save the country.

He, however, invited all parties and groups, including opposition forces, to join hands in the reconstruction and development of the city and play their due role in maintaining the peaceful and pleasant environment by remaining over and above political and other differences.