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Thursday April 18, 2024

PPP promises 'change' in Karachi if elected from port city

Bilawal vows to change face of Karachi if party secures 20 eats on February 8

By Web Desk
February 05, 2024

As the port city faces multiple challenges on many fronts, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari Monday promised to "change" Karachi if the city votes his party into power in the upcoming elections.

Addressing a rally in Karachi's Shireen Jinnah colony ahead of the February 8 polls, Bilawal said: "The party [PPP] will change the face of Karachi in five years if it gets 20 seats [from the city]."

His comments come as the Bilawal-led party along with others attempt to woo the public in the metropolis which will decide the fate of 22 National Assembly seats.

Karachi has been a political cauldron in general elections throughout Pakistan's history and has always played a significant role in national politics as parties who have secured substantial representation from the megalopolis have usually played a significant role in either weakening or strengthening the centre.

A key example of this is the 2018 general elections where the Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the largest party from the country's financial hub.

However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), which had typically enjoyed Karachi as its stronghold, went on to become a key coalition partner for Imran Khan's PTI-led government and once again became a key political force in the wake of his ouster via the vote of no confidence where it withdrew its support for the PTI.

It seems that the megacity will once again play a key role in the centre's politics as parties including PPP, MQM-P, and PTI through its independent candidates, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and others are vying for the 22 seats from the metropolis.

Apart from the sheer numerics, the city also holds symbolic value in the political arena, a reflection of which can be assessed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif's now-cancelled bid to contest polls from Keamari's NA-242 — something that its "ally" MQM-P vehemently opposed as its fielding Mustafa Kamal from the said constituency.

Speaking during the rally, which made its way through various areas of the city including Kharadar, Keamari, and others, Bilawal recalled the trust the city has expressed in the party in the local bodies polls and vowed that if the PPP, if it comes to power in the centre, would ensure that all of the issues faced by the country's financial hub will be duly addressed.

"My [PPP's] candidates will convey the issues faced by the people in their respective constituencies to me," the PPP chief said while calling on the masses to support his party on February 8.

His remarks come as the party, especially after Saturday's rain spell which resulted in urban flooding in the city, has been facing criticism for failing to deliver after ruling the province for nearly 15 years.

With striving to claim to win Karachi's election race, it would be interesting to see how the political and electoral landscape turns out on the morning of February 9.