Friday April 12, 2024

JI, Muttahida hoping to snatch NA-236 East from PTI-backed Alamgir Khan

By Jamal Khurshid
February 05, 2024

The National Assembly constituency NA-236 East II is situated at the centre of the city which starts from Old Sabzi Mandi to Scheme 33 covering entire Gulshan-e-Iqbal, major blocks of Gulistan-e-Jauhar and some areas of the Faisal Cantonment Board.

Commuters move past the election banners of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) parties hung over a street ahead of the upcoming general elections, in Karachi on January 24, 2024. — AFP
Commuters move past the election banners of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) parties hung over a street ahead of the upcoming general elections, in Karachi on January 24, 2024. — AFP

The constituency, which was previously NA-243 East, was won by former prime minister and founding chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan with a thumping majority of 91,373 votes in the 2018 elections. It is considered as one of the most-high literacy rate constituency of the city.

After Imran vacated the seat, it seat was retained by the PTI as its candidate Alamgir Khan won the subsequent by-election.

The PTI, which has been deprived of its election symbol of “bat” by the Election Commission of Pakistan for not conducting intra party elections, has fielded Alamgir as its candidate again to retain the seat for the party which has been facing the wrath of the state in the post-May 9 scenario along with a series of convictions of the PTI founder in the cipher, Toshakhana and illegal marriage cases just a week before the February 8 general elections.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) are the other main contenders in the constituency hoping to snatch NA-236 from the PTI which significantly gained its vote bank here in the last 10 years from 61,000 votes in the 2013 elections and over 91,000 votes in the 2018 polls.

The vote bank of the MQM-P reduced from 101,386 votes in 2013 to 24,082 in 2018 when the party had entered the arena after the August 22, 2016’s anti-state speech of its founder Altaf Hussain.

In the 2013 elections, the constituency of Gulshan-e-Iqbal was won by the MQM’s Muzamil Qureshi. In the 2008 polls, Haider Abbas Rizvi of the MQM was the winner from here. However, in the 2002 general elections, the JI-backed candidate Asadullah Bhutto was declared the winner from this constituency from the platform of the religious parties’ alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal after polling 28,840 votes.

This time, the MQM-P has fielded Hassan Sabir advocate who was earlier the general secretary of the former Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) prior to the amalgamation of the PSP into the MQM-P.

The JI candidate is Mohammad Usama Razi Khan, who is presently the Karachi deputy emir of the party and was a popular students’ leader in the late 1980s.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) has given its ticket to Qureshi who won from here on the MQM’s ticket in 2013 but lost in the 2018 polls as a candidate of the PSP.

The other contenders include the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Parveen Bashir, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) Mohammad Luqman and Pakistan Rah-e-Haq Party’s Shakil Ahmed. A total of 24 independent candidates are also in the fray, including the PTI-backed Alamgir.

The total population of the constituency is 958,292, with 542,409 registered voters, including 280,363 men and 262,046 women.

The constituency may also be called the higher educational hub of the city as a large number of varsities, including the University of Karachi, NED University, Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology, Usman Institute of Technology and other educational institutes are situated here.

Besides the Expo Centre is also situated in NA-236 where trade and commercial activities are regularly held.

The main areas of the constituency are Old Sabzi Mandi, Essa Nagri, all blocks of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, KDA Officers Society, Karsaz, Gulshan-e-Jamal, Gulistan-e- Jauhar’s blocks 19,18,20,16,17,14,10,9,7,5,6,10 and 1, Abbas Town, Abul Hasan Ispahani Road and some areas of Scheme 33.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has set up 294 polling stations in NA-236 for voters to cast their votes.

So far, peaceful election campaigns of various political parties and independent candidates has been witnessed in the constituency with no violence.

Provincial seats

Two provincial assembly constituencies PS-99 and PS-101 also fall in NA-236. As many as 26 candidates are contesting the polls from PS-99 including 17 independent candidates.

The main candidates are Syed Farhan Ansari of the MQM-P, Mohammad Yonus Bari of the JI, Masti Khan of the PPPP, Abdul Rahim of the TLP, Mohammad Amin of the PML-N and PTI-backed independent candidate Zain Pervez.

A total of 44 candidates, including 26 independent candidates, are contesting from PS-101 East. The main candidates are Moid Anwar of the MQM-P, Syed Qutab Ahmed of the JI, Imran Ali Mithani of the PPPP, Sobia Kiran of the PML-N, Mohammad Farooq Noorani of the TLP, Manzarul Haq Thanvi of the Grand Democratic Alliance and the PTI-backed independent candidate Arsalan Khan.