Voters giving tough time to candidates

KARACHI - Witnessing a behavioural change in the Karachi politics, the voters of the biggest city of the country are giving a tough time to the candidates during election campaign.

As the election day approaching fast, the candidates of different political parties are reaching out to voters to lure them. In the past, the election campaigns were mostly ruled by MQM that claimed major stake from the city but after a crackdown against the party and infightings among them, the other mainstream political parties had also entered the Karachi’s political arena to try their luck.

However, despite more parties participating in the polls, the city is yet to witness the past political fervour with only four days left for the city to go to polls.

The voters in the city seem to challenge the political parties in campaign before polls and are challenging the candidates of mainstream parties with tough questions, which has forced some of them to left the meetings to avoid embarrassment.

In one incident, former PTI MPA Khurram Sher Zaman managed to escape from a corner meeting organised in Mehmoodabad area of PS-110 when residents of the area asked: “Where you have been in last five years? and what have you done to resolve the issues of the people voted you in previous elections.”

Jibran Nasir prominent social activist contesting from NA-247, faced a similar situation where he was asked to explain his position for his anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam rhetoric but reacted to them humbly, avoiding any possible violent activity.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan – that once ruled the city and no one could dare challenge their public speaking- is also facing a similar situation and its top leader Dr Farooq Sattar was challenged at more than two incidents where people asked him about the thirty years performance of the MQM, alleging Sattar and his party of ruining the city.

In a similar move, a large number of Jamshed Quarter residents staged protest outside MQM-Pakistan temporary headquarter Bahadurabad.

The MQM-Pakistan has termed such incidents against its leadership and party as a conspiracy hatched by rival party-Pak Sarzameen Party.

Other than challenging the contenders by tough questions, some incidents of violence were also reported. In a similar situation, Former MQM-P leader Amir Liaquat Hussain who is now contesting polls from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf faced an embarrassing situation when eggs and tomatoes were thrown at him during a campaign rally.

On the other hand where the city is witnessing the above trends, a picture circulating in social media where leaders and workers of different political parties offering collective Maghrib prayer at Hakim Saeed Ground, University Road was applauded widely.

According to witnesses, the area was echoing with the party songs of MQM-Pakistan, PTI, Pakistan People Party, Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal while workers of different parties were also chanting slogans against the each other when Usama Razi candidate of MMA, start offering Magrib prayers and worker of rival parties including MQM leader former MNA Ali Raza Abidi belong to the Shia Sect joined him in the prayers.  Details and picture viral in social media reveals that the situation remained tense before the prayers but turned normal following the unity of the Muslims.

Karachi University Professor Mehboob Hasan said that such situations were not only reported in Karachi but the entire Pakistan and mainly it was an attempt from the rival parties to infiltrate their supporters, who are asking tough questions from other party candidates.

“This is aimed to prove that the party that has been challenged by the protestor has not done anything for the masses,” he said.

He, however, said that such trends are good for the society as it is giving courage to the masses to ask questions from their elected members. “This will not only give courage to the masses to make their elected members accountable but would also make the members to show performance in order to gain go to their constituents for votes,” he said.

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