An auto rickshaw with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) flags make its way through a flooded street in Karachi on February 4, 2024. — AFP

Who will benefit from ethnic fissures in Keamari?

Tough contest expected on NA-242 between PPP and MQM-P.
Published February 5, 2024

THE newest district of Karachi division, Keamari, is carved out of district West by the then government of the Pakistan Peoples Party in a move that its detractors, particularly the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, describe as an attempt to divide the metropolis on ‘ethnic lines’ and strengthen PPP’s political position before elections.

Notified in September 2020, the then provincial government had picked parts of urban localities in district West — considered as stronghold of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement such as Orangi Town, Mominabad, Baldia Town — and merged them with the localities dominated by the PPP, like Keamari, Mauripur and other rural parts of the now defunct Karachi District Council.

The district in its current shape is comprised of sub-divisions of Baldia Town, Keamari and Mauripur. The industrial area of SITE, which is close to Orangi Town and Nazimabad, is now also part of Keamari district.

In the first digital and seventh population census, the population of district Keamari is 2.06 million. The district is home to people belonging to multi-lingual, middle and low-income backgrounds.

Tough contest expected on NA-242 between PPP, MQM-Pakistan

According to the 2017 census, 34 per cent people speak Pashto, 16pc Urdu, 13pc Punjabi, 11pc Sindhi, 7pc Baloch, 4pc Seraiki and 6pc people speak other languages in district Keamari.

The district ranks fifth in terms of votes, but it is the second largest district of Karachi in terms of area. The borders of Keamari are with West, South and Balochistan. The largest coastline of Karachi is also included in this district. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) is also located in district Keamari.

Other important areas of the district are Islamnagar, Abidabad, Gulshan-i-Ghazi, Rashidabad, Jackson Bazaar, Hawkesbay, Musharraf Colony, Journalist Colony Block 3, 3A, 2, Journalist Colony Block 68, Bakhar Goth, Javed Bahria, Makkah Colony, Shujaat Colony, PAF Base Masroor, Keamari, Baba, Bhat Islands, Naval Colony, West Wharf, Baldia Town, Mauripur, Shershah, Saeedabad, Ittehad Town, Metroville, Valika Hospital, Burmese Colony, Manora, Sultanabad, Mochko, etc.

48 vying for two NA seats

The district has two National Assembly seats — NA-242 and NA-243 (NA-248 and NA-249 in the previous general election) — and five seats of the provincial assembly — from PS-111 to PS-115.

In the 2018 general elections, Abdul Qadir Patel of the PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Faisal Vawda had won NA-248 and NA-249, respectively. However, the PPP had won Mr Vawda’s seat in the 2021 by-election after the PTI MNA resigned from his seat to become a senator.

As many as 48 candidates are contesting elections on the two NA seats in district Keamari.

The number of voters in the district is 891,214, including 518,086 men and 373,128 women.


The competition for NA-242 is one of the most interesting contests in the province. Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif had filed nomination papers from this constituency and his party tried its best to strike a seat adjustment deal with the MQM-P which had fielded its senior leader and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal.

The younger Sharif took back his nomination papers after the MQM-P refused to withdraw Mr Kamal from the race.

The PPP has fielded Qadir Khan Mandokhel from the constituency. He had won the seat, then numbered NA-249, in a by-election by defeating Miftah Ismail of PML-N, candidates of Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan, Pak Sarzameen Party, MQM-P and PTI.

Prominent among other aspirants are PML-N’s Khawja Shoaib, Muhammad Sajid of TLP and Fazal Ahmed of the Jamaat-i-Islami.


NA-243 consists of areas including Mauripur Road, Truckstand, Masroor Base, Musharraf Colony, Mochko, Saeedabad Sectors 9 and 12, Naval Colony, etc.

The PPP has given ticket to Qadir Patel again while TLP has fielded Syed Kashif Ali Shah, MQM-P Humayoon Sultan and JI nominated Shahzad Khan Jadoon from the same seat.

In the 2018 general elections, Qadir Patel had secured 35,124 votes against PTI’s Sardar Abdul Aziz who got 34,101 votes followed by Muhammad Salman of the PML-N who bagged 20,732 votes.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2024

Header image: An auto rickshaw with PPP flags make its way through a flooded street in Karachi on February 4, 2024. — AFP