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The dilemma of delimitation

December 15, 2012

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.