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February 7, 2021

‘Karachi’s Pashtuns heavily influence KP’s polls’


February 7, 2021

KARACHI : A Pakistan Peoples Party’s central leader from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Nawabzada Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, has said Karachi’s Pashtuns must not allow their vote bank to fall into the hands of ethnic and religious parties and collectively support the PPP to have their issues addressed.

In a recent conversation with The News in his Karachi visit, Hoti, who is also a former PPP provincial president and a federal minister, said the PPP was the only party that could be described as a symbol of the federation and was supported in the entire country by all ethnicities.

“The PPP’s Sindh leadership should also devise a strategy to consolidate its position in Karachi’s Pashtuns, the second largest ethnic community in the city, by inducting some Pashtun leaders into key advisory and party positions,” he said.

During his visit, Hoti had also met several PPP leaders to discuss the political affairs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Karachi. “I advised them [the PPP leaders] to include Pashtun leaders with a good reputation in the community in the party’s organisational structure and government positions in the city.” he said.

“Karachi’s Pashtun community heavily influences the electoral trends in KP and vice versa,” the veteran politician said.

He believed that outgrowing its influence in the city’s Pashtun areas may help the PPP regain its strength in KP. “In Karachi, the presence of the influential media, an emerging Pashtun middle-class, and vibrant trade connections matter in the KP politics.”

Hoti visited several Pashtun neighbourhoods, met community elders, and listened to the issues related to the community permanently residing in Karachi.

“The Pashtun community and their areas suffered a lot during the rule of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement,” he said.

“In the meeting, I told the community elders that the Pashtuns residing in Karachi have isolated themselves from the mainstream by supporting religious and ethnic parties and thus splitting their strength and vote bank.

“The PPP is the only platform where they can play a collective role in the city’s politics and progress,” he maintained.

“They [Pashtuns] are now permanent residents of Sindh and they should therefore participate in the local politics under the banner of the PPP,” he said.

He noted that it was the PPP that had changed the name of the province from the NWFP to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and met a decades-long demand for the Pashtuns.

Economy sinking: Hoti said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s incompetent rulers had sunk the country’s economy due to their ill-conceived policies.

“In KP, the PTI government has badly failed to deliver. The residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are surely disappointed with the performance of the PTI and its coalition partners and that is why they are looking at the PPP again.”

Hoti said that under the young and dynamic leadership of the party’s supremo, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PPP had been resurgeing in KP, and the participation of a large number of PPP supporters in the rallies of the Pakistan Democartic Movement was an example of that.