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February 19, 2008

MQM, PPP claim gains in Karachi

February 19, 2008

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan People’s Party have claimed success in the elections to the national and provincial assemblies in Karachi.

MQM sources late on Monday claimed to have bagged a majority of national and provincial assemblies seats from the city. The results of most of the seats were not announced till the filing of this report.

According to MQM sources, Farhatulla Khan (NA-245) bagged 28252 votes; Dr Nadeem Ahsan (NA-247) secured 104001; Khushbakht Shujaat (NA-250) secured 53000, while Muzamil Qureshi (PS-118) got 44801 votes. The sources claimed that Sher Ibrahim (PS-110), Muhammad Tahir (PS-111), Muqeem Alam (PS-112) and Askari Taqvi (PS-113) also won the contest. The sources also claimed that the MQM has a lead on 16 National Assembly seats out of 20 and 31 provincial assembly seats out of 42 in Karachi.

Meanwhile, PPP’s Nabil Gabol has defeated his nearest rival by a huge margin in Lyari. Tahir Hasan Khan adds: Earlier, a mixed trend was witnessed during the polling for 20 national and 42 provincial assembly seats of the city.

The overall situation remained peaceful in most of the constituencies here, while a few incidents of clashes between activists of rival parties were reported in some parts of the city after complaints of bogus voting. But no casualty was reported.

Provincial Information Minister Dewan Yousuf Farooqi claimed that the election was held in a peaceful atmosphere and the turnout of vote in the city was 40 per cent, while in the rural areas, the turnout was 45 per cent.

He said police arrested two armed bodyguards of former provincial minister Irfanullah Marwat and one of a former chief minister for carrying illegal weapons. The turnout in the PPP strongholds, including Lyari, Malir, Gadap and Bin Qasim, was witnessed more than double as compared to the MQM-dominated areas. The situation had changed emotionally in those areas after the assassination

of Benazir Bhutto and PPP candidates Nabil Gabol (NA-248), Dr Salim Hingoro (PS-108), Rafiq Engineer (PS-109) and Mohabbat Khan Niazi (PS-100) have claimed victory.

The PPP also claimed that its candidates Sher Muhammad Baluch (NA-258), Muzaffar Shujra (PS-129) and Sajid Jokhio (PS-130) had won, while the party’s candidates Akhtar Jadoon (PS-89) and Nadeem Bhutto (PS-90) were leading till late on Monday night.

The ANP also claimed that its candidates Amir Nawab (PS-93) and Amanullah Mehsood (PS-128) were in leading position in their constituencies. The PPP had backed the ANP candidates on the two seats, while the ANP backed the PPP on the NA-239 seat where the PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel was leading.

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