KARACHI: Demanding fresh local government elections after the notification of the Sindh government to add 53 new union committees in Karachi, senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Syed Mustafa Kamal vowed on Tuesday that the party would challenge the Jan 15 polls and continue its struggle for an empowered local government system in urban centres of Sindh.

Talking to reporters during his visit to Allah Wala Town in Korangi to review the ongoing cleanliness drive in the neighbourhood, he said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had badly disappointed the party and voters of Karachi due to its ‘failure’ in protecting electoral mandate of the country’s biggest city.

With low turnout in Jan 15 elections, he said, the local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad had lost their moral value and the party concerns would further prove in the days to come. “The parties, even those which contested, would accept one day that the MQM was right,” he said.

“Those contested the polls despite knowing the exploitation, injustice and illegal process of all this exercise would be rejected by the people of Karachi. They in fact have sold out their political future. The people of Karachi would never accept them as their local government representatives,” he said. He claimed that the gerrymandering was done to deprive Karachi of more than 70 union committees and the fresh result of voting on the current delimitation didn’t reflect the true mandate of the metropolis.

Says Jan 15 polls lost legitimacy after notification of more union committees

“After the notification of 53 new UCs, the January 15 elections have lost legitimacy. There should be a new election and if it’s not done, we would challenge the January 15 polls,” he added.

“How can you do justice with the people of this city through this local government system, when you don’t even count them rightly? In this situation, the people of Karachi would be at losing side,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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