KARACHI, Aug 16: With the announcement of the October polls schedule, all major political parties and electoral alliances have gone into action.
The initial preparations have been made. Candidates have been selected and seat adjustments will continue till the finalisation of the lists of candidates.
In the Karachi division, the national assembly seats have been increased from 13 to 20 general seats under the new scheme of things. The main contending forces in the city are the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Muttahida Majlise Amal, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the Grand Democratic Alliance.
All analyses conclude that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement represented by the Haq Parast Group is going to get 16 to 17 seats out of the 20. The basis for this inference are the previous four general elections held in 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1997; in all but 1993 elections the Haq Parast Group dominated the political scene in Karachi.
The group boycotted the polls 1993 in protest against what they called the “no-go areas” controlled by their breakaway allegedly under the patronage of a government agency.
In the other three elections, the HPG swept the polls except in two constituencies. The only seat which remained dominated by the PPP during the four elections was NA-189. NA-184 was the only constituency which returned different parties to the assembly in the first three elections; Amir Haider Kazmi of the PPP in 1988, Muhammad Irfan of the HPG in 1990, Mian Ejaz Shafi of the PML(N) in 1993 and 1997.
According to the official record, in 1988 the HPG won 11 seats and two were won by the PPP. In 1990 the HPG swept 12 constituencies and one went to the PDA. In 1997 ten seats were taken by the HPG, two went to the PML(N) and one to the PPP.
In the 1993 elections, with the HPG boycotting the elections, six seats were grabbed by the PPP and an equal number of seats went to the PML(N). One seat went to Muzaffar Ahmad Hashmi of the Jamaat-i-Islami who contested from NA-188 from the platform of the Pakistan Islamic Front. He secured 12235 votes out of 344355 in the constituency where only 30224 votes were cast, mere 8.78 per cent of the total registered votes. Hamza Ali Quadri of the PML(N) who secured only 11257 votes stood second and Syed Saeed Hasan of the PPP could get only 4716 votes.
In contrast to the 1993 elections, during the other three general polls held in 1988, 1990 and 1997, the HPG candidates Syed Muhammad Aslam in 1998 and 1990 and Hasan Musana Alvi in 1997 had polled 131012, 142591 and 105323 votes respectively. The voting turnouts recorded were 55.44 per cent, 48.64 per cent and 31.84 per cent against the total registered voters of 292265, 332029 and 388584.
The stark reality is that the HPG nominees won the seats with much larger margins than the candidates of other parties in every election. NA-189 is the only constituency which remained dominated by the PPP during all the four general elections of 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1997.
According to the Election Commission report, the PPP candidates Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Waja Ahmed Karim Dad returned to the assembly after 62046, 54308, 23104 votes respectively from NA-189 in the above-mentioned three general elections.
From NA-184 the PML(N) candidate Mian Ejaz Shafi was elected in the 1997 polls with 35451. The HPG candidate Muhammad Irfan Khan secured 50042 votes in 1990 and the PPP candidate Amir Haider Kazmi was elected with 33606 votes in 1988.
From NA- 185 the PPP’s Muhammad Afaq Khan Shahid was elected securing 14866 votes in 1993. The HPG candidate Syed Salim-ul- Haque won the seat in 1988 by securing 82310 votes and in 1990 with 99883 votes. In 1997 the HPG candidate A.K. Shams won it with 85503 votes.
From NA-186 the PML(N) candidate Dost Muhammad Faizi was elected with 17058 votes in the 1993 polls when the HPG was out of the field. From the same constituency the HPG candidate Kunwar Khalid Yunus was elected by securing 63447 votes in 1997, 90497 votes in 1990 and 87919 votes in 1988.
From NA-187 the PML(N) candidate Hafiz Muhammad Taqi was elected after securing 9863 votes in 1993. The HPG candidate Muhammad Farooq Ahmad won with 62621 votes in 1997. The HPG’s Dr Imran Farooq won with 131340 votes in 1990 and with 93499 votes in 1988.
From NA-188 the JI candidate Muzaffar Ahmad Hashmi won the seat by securing 12235 votes in the 1993 polls. The HPG candidate Hasan Masna Alvi was elected with 105323 votes in 1997. The HPG’s Syed Muhammad Aslam won with 142591 votes in 1993 and with 131012 votes in 1988.
From NA-190 the PPP candidate Abdul Aziz Memon returned with 23309 votes in 1993 polls. The HPG candidate Dr Farooq Sattar was elected with 27711 votes in 1997, with 52887 votes in 1990 and with 40716 votes in 1988.
From NA-191 the PML(N) candidate Capt Haleem Siddiqui was elected in 1997 with 31414 votes and in 1993 polls with 33840 votes. The HPG candidate Syed Tariq Mehmood won the seat with 40573 votes in 1990 and with 36746 votes in 1988.
From NA-192 the PML(N) candidate Zuhair Akram Nadeem got 20101 votes in the 1993 polls and won the seat. The HPG candidate Aijaz Mehmood was elected with 32554 votes in 1997. The HPG candidate Muhammad Rafique Essani won the seat with 61938 votes in 1990. The HPG’s Muhammad Farooq Sattar won it with 57609 votes in 1988.
From NA-193 the PML(N) candidate Abubakr Shaikhani was elected with 27845 votes in the 1993 polls. The HPG candidates Dr Nishat Malik with 36738 votes in 1997, Islam Nabi with 72272 votes in 1990 and Syed Muhammad Zakaria Kazmi with 62038 votes in 1988.
From NA-194 the PPP candidate Muzaffar Ali Shujra was elected by securing 13709 votes. The HPG candidate Muhammad Arif Khan won it with 38637 votes in 1997. The HPG’s Syed Aminul Haque won it with 71807 votes in 1990 and 60482 votes in 1988.
From NA-195 the PPP candidate Prof ND Khan was elected with 25612 votes in 1993. The HPG candidate Sheikh Liqauat Hussain won it with 26692 votes in 1997. The HPG’s Rehan Umer Farooqui won with 71265 votes in 1990 and the HPG’s Mahmood Hussain won it with 58612 votes in 1988.
From NA-196 the PPP candidate Sher Muhammad Baloch was elected with 23687 votes in 1993. The HPG candidate Farrukh Naeem Siddiqui won it wit 44394 votes in 1997, and the HGP’s Waseem Ahmed won with 90337 in 1990 and with 73662 votes in 1988.