Friday April 19, 2024

Tough competition likely between MQM’s Mustafa Kamal, PPP’s Qadir Khan Mandokhail in NA-242

By Oonib Azam
February 07, 2024

District Keamari’s NA-242 presents an intriguing contest between the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) candidate, Qadir Khan Mandokhail, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM) nominee, Mustafa Kamal.

This combo of photographs shows MQM -P nominee, Mustafa Kamal (L) and (PPP) candidate, Qadir Khan Mandokhail (R). — Facebook/Qadir Khan Mandokhail, Syed Mustafa Kamal
This combo of photographs shows MQM -P nominee, Mustafa Kamal (L) and (PPP) candidate, Qadir Khan Mandokhail (R). — Facebook/Qadir Khan Mandokhail, Syed Mustafa Kamal

However, the potential influence of spoiler candidates, such as those from the Tahreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and independent candidates supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), notably Dawa Khan, cannot be disregarded. The vote bank of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could not be ruled out from the constituency.

In the 2018 general elections, PTI’s Faisal Vawda clinched the top position, narrowly defeating Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shahbaz Sharif by a slim margin of a few hundred votes. This result of this seat remained controversial throughout Vawda’s stay in the National Assembly.

Traditionally, the seat has been consistently won by the MQM, with Khawaja Sohail Mansoor emerging victorious in 2008 and 2013, defeating PPP’s Abdullah Baloch and PTI’s Naz Baloch, respectively.

This time around there was pressure on the MQM to withdraw its candidate in support of PML-N’s Ghulam Shoaib, but as the party did not, it can also face a tough battle on the ground from the PML-N voters.

Journalist Abdul Jabbar Nasir said that earlier District Malir’s NA-242 and NA-243 were similar constituencies, where the PML-N and the PPP had also won so their support base could not be ruled out. However, he said, that there’s a 60-percent Muhajir vote bank in the area, but the presence of the MQM-London can also dent the MQM-P’s vote bank.

In the National Assembly constituency NA-242, there are different areas from Sindh Assembly constituency PS-111 and PS-112. In PS-111, there are places like Sector 12 Saeedabad, Sector 9F, 9E, 9C, 9A Saeedabad, Sajjan Goth, and Murshid Hospital. In PS-112, there are areas like Ittehad Town, Gulshan-e-Ghazi, Sector 4, Sector 5, Baldia Town, Sector 8 and 9 Part, Qaim Khani Colony. In PS-113, there are areas like Shah Faisal Colony, Sarhad Afridi Colony, Qaim Khani Colony, Patni Mohallah, Anjum Colony, Baldia Town Sector 3, Hasrat Mohani Colony, Block A, B, C, Postal Colony, Lea Market Square, and some parts of PS-114 include Pathan Colony, Boani Chali, Metroville, SITE, Valika Hospital, Alfatah Colony, and others.

Keamari is the newest of the seven districts of Karachi. It was carved out from District West in 2020 during the previous Sindh government’s tenure.

In terms of the number of voters, it ranks fifth among the seven districts. In terms of the area, however, it is the second largest district after District Malir.

Located in the southwest of Karachi, it shares borders with District West, District South and Balochistan. It also encompasses Karachi’s largest coastal strip. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) also lies in the same district.

There are two National Assembly seats in District Keamari NA-242 and NA-243. There are 328 polling stations and as many presiding officers in the district with 1,312 polling booths.

The total number of voters in District Keamari is 453,424, including 261,913 male and 191,511 female voters.

In NA-242, the number of polling stations is 281, while the number of voters is 437,790 out of whom female voters are 181,617 and male voters are 256,173.