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The dilemma of delimitation

Published Dec 15, 2012 08:59am


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The Supreme Court is of the view that constituencies in Karachi should be delimited in a manner that they comprise “mixed population” to avoid political polarisation.

The stance has been endorsed by the Awami National Party (ANP) which shares the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s aspirations to muster control over the city’s spoils.

The MQM has strongly opposed the idea and has questioned the singling out of the metropolitan city especially when there have been voices raised against delimitation in other parts of the country.

Opponents of the idea of delimitation are also of the view that the exercise would prove futile as there could be no headcount without a fresh census, an exercise barely on the horizon.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on the other hand has announced that it would go ahead with the apex court’s directives and had stated that it would consider proposals from several political parties before amending the demarcations of constituencies.

Although the aim behind the exercise has been to end political polarisation in the city, apprehensions prevail that it may not lead to the desired outcome.

Would it be better if the delimitation exercise was carried out after the upcoming general elections and with new census numbers. Or is it still better yet to go ahead with the exercise in Karachi for the time, in light of the apex court's observation.


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Comments (27) Closed

Farooq Ali Dec 17, 2012 05:55am
The last census was in year 98 it is overdue so it should be done afresh followed by delimitation as the number of seats may change due to increased population and inter provincial migration, the exercise must be national not regional it might delay the election but a good interim set up can take care. We can start with a new and good quality set up I pray to God .
Irfan (@shaikhirfanb) Dec 19, 2012 10:21pm
why are you afraid of independent delimitation if MQM is so popular? And btw what census happened in 2001 to do delimitation before those elections???? Answer please and no adjectives
ram Dec 17, 2012 04:06am
ram Dec 17, 2012 04:07am
Karachi sab ki biwi...Gohar ayab started
Farhan Shaikh Dec 15, 2012 10:31am
Delimitation of constituencies are generally done after assessment of population in connection with revenue generating area...however, the case of Karachi is different where the act of delimitation in the past was declared mala fide by supreme if an exercise is done to correct the past act should be accepted without any cry...since it would be done non other by Election commission itself and to be supervised by Army
Irfan (@shaikhirfanb) Dec 19, 2012 10:24pm
First read the judgment and then blindly put comments. It says a door by door verification of voter lists so it wont be based on past population.
truth Dec 15, 2012 01:55pm
Biased article... how come those parties who will win elections in current scenario will allow delimitation after next election?... ECP must act now .. A stitch in time saves nine
pakiboy Dec 15, 2012 12:51pm
if delimitation is needed .. as population increase and transfer .. then it should be conducted in whole country .. after proper census !!
Javid Dec 15, 2012 04:45pm
First census then delimitation.
Irfan Baloch Dec 17, 2012 04:25pm
dear Sir/ Madam you draw a very bleak picture of the City of Quaid. this directive by the court doesnt surprise me, look at the CJ & tell me if there is anyone else in the civilized world who could be more controversial/ biased & chronically obsessed with control? he went ahead with this political convey despite the danger of violence because his ego was far bigger than the lives that were lost during his restoration I love Karachi & I love Pakistan look after yourself Pakistan Zindabad
Nafy Achakzai Dec 17, 2012 04:19pm
The process of delimitation of constituencies in Karachi should be completed before election.Pashtun, the second largest ethnic community in Karachi are under-presented by MQM. There are more than 5 million Pashtuns living in Karachi so they should have 7 seats in National Assembly and 14 seats in Provincial Assembly of Sindh.
Irfan Baloch Dec 17, 2012 04:31pm
No logic just pure biased politics by the most politicised CJ in the history of Pakistan & maybe the in the Civilzed world. he chooses his suo mottos & his rulings very carefully where it suits the sponsers of his restoration drive what a shame
ahmed ali Dec 17, 2012 01:45pm
when JI member is elected delimitation is ok and when defeated from same delimitation become wrong....ji is actually anti people party..they opposed pakistan movement by Quaid -e-Azam,it did not eccept.. bengali mandate and formed alshams albadar..this is history and now they dont want to accept karachi mandate
karachiite Dec 17, 2012 12:47pm
The people of karachi should immidiately stop paying their taxes untill the whole country starts paying their taxes. All karachi jobs should be given to the people of karachi on merit (all ethnicities). MQM should stop defending itself, but take a very aggressive approach for the rights of its people. Retreat from outside Sindh (will never get votes from illiterate tasubi punjabi and pathans, only the few will support mqm, who really love pakistan) becasue if they dont karachi will be ethnically destroyed by the nothern hordes.
ahmed ali Dec 18, 2012 11:03am
seats are distributed according to population so the seats of KP quota should be shifted to karachi
Ninja Dec 17, 2012 06:19am
Even if the last delimitation was wrong or done with bad intent, how can you fix it without knowing the situation on the ground today; the last census was a decade ago; population of Karachi & the demographics must
ali ahmed Dec 16, 2012 09:34am
to day is 16th december...the fall of DACCA...Bengalis mandate was not accepted and military operation was ordered...S.C. doing the same mistake as S.C. order to device delimitation in a way that a particular ..the native party loose it
Minal Dec 17, 2012 06:59am
there must be false entries everywhere, but offcourse not as big as Karachi where it was disclosed in the Supreme Court that 653 people registered on a 120sq. yard house. And its also more important for karachi because it has till date been the only place in the entire world where voter turnout was 100%. Great turnout in the last general elections for MQM. NOwhere in the world has that happened before or ever will. and this so called political party, which claims to be consisting of educated people would never let it happen. zardari or nawaz might be corrupt, but its high time people of karachi should open their eyes and stand up against the activities of MQM.
rehan Dec 18, 2012 02:56am
i do agree 100 %, MQM should come back to Mohajir qoumi movement, after getting the due rights of Mohajir, in next 20 years, we can refome to muthaida. it was too early. stablishment and judiacry and Landlord are big hurdels in the way of MQM progress in other provinces. Mohajir are suffering, and some hidden forced are trying to harm the idntity of karachi
H K Dec 17, 2012 06:16pm
It is a pity that we never hear SC in news about improving the standard and speed of justice. The senior judges should gather and ponder how the battle for dignity won on the streets of Pakistan has been lost to populism. The Karachi case is obviously biased with one city singled out for delimitation. SC wont lose respect by withdrawing a flawed order. Karachiites are entitled to feel victimized esp when they see that it is fast becoming a case of we against all of them. This would definitely harden their stances whether or not they were diehard mqm sympathisers. Those who dream of finishing off mqm unwittingly always end up giving it a shot in the arms! Opposing this one sided biased order is in any case a just cause and any fair minded Karachiite would be invariably rising up to resist it.
Muhammad Asif Dec 18, 2012 12:06pm
to whom are you telling this friend? the blind judiciary? or the incompetent election commission who has suddenly became the most effecient of the institution of the country?
Majaz Amin Dec 17, 2012 02:04am
Ardeshir Cowasjee written in several of his columns that Army is the largest and most organized political party of the country.
salman orangiwala Dec 16, 2012 11:01am
Why only Karachi ? Why not Lahore or for that matter Peshawar ?Somebody make me understand the logic ......if masss migration has been mad eto Karachi from KP ,the delimtation is OK to Supreme Court but what about the place from where the migrations have taken place , shouldnt delimitation be done there simulataneously ? Simple and biased ruling by the CJ .
YHS Dec 16, 2012 04:31pm
The CNG price reduction ruling deprived the masses from CNG, delimitation would deprive them of the election.
fus Dec 16, 2012 07:23pm
Incorrect solution by the SC. The karachi's law and order is not bad due to incorrect delimitation or it would fix it. The law and order is bad due to inefficiency of Police and judicial system. If SC really cared thet should have forced the govt. to improve the police system. This is, probably unintendingly, a biased decision. And frankly where are the no go areas? probabaly 5-10 percent of the places could be considered no-go areas, to make them no-go you use police and rangers. But who has really cared about karachi. Ppl don't vote for MQM out of fear but due to the fact that rest of the parties dont care about Karachi, except when it comes to sucking blood out of it. JI and ANP actually benefitted with the new delimitation in 2002 elections, but they were ok at that time, in 2008 when MQM did a clean sweep, they just woke up and realised.
chandka Dec 16, 2012 10:51am
Karachi has not seen an impartial, free, fair and without terror election for last 30 years. It has been the worst killing field of the country. About 70000 people have lost their life since. Karachi badly deserves and needs a due political and democratic process. Impartial and just delimitation is a must before elections. Karachites have remained hostage to worst terrorism of history. They even can not choose to give the zakat, fitra and sacrificial hides to the poor people of their liking. Many markets, factories and official records have been put on fire. 12 May, 18 October. 9 April, Nishtar park, Ashora tragedies are just a few to name where many dozens of killings have taken place in day light. Karachi badly needs peace, deweaponisation, end to no go areas, torture cell, free and fair elections. Delimitation is one of the important things to be done before any meaningful elections. Let us support an end to hostage jharlo elections in Karachi.
aku Dec 17, 2012 12:19pm
Dear Salman: Lahore is much more uniform in terms of political or ethnic setup than Karachi. Perhaps "zinda dillaan" are more welcoming to diversity. Having been part of Karachi myself in many ways, I fully agree to the proposal, though I also believe that it may still not fully bring the desired results.