Karachi is the financial heart of Pakistan and the seventh largest city in the world.
With mega malls and a thriving trade, the city is thought to be the fastest developing metropolitan city in the country, setting new standards of progress and advancement for other cities around the country.
For about 30 years, people of Karachi had to live up amidst bullets, riddled walls bearing sectarian graffiti, frequent bouts of looting, riots, acts of terrorism, daily civil unrest and violence that took lives of half a dozen people daily but the Rangers operation during last three years had yielded tremendous results, and today’s Karachi was competently different from what it was until before 2013.
Positive results of the operation are noticeable from the improved peace situation of the metropolis.
Karachi’s political scene, however, still looks unpredictable as the general election approaches, political parties are gearing up for contesting for Karachi.
For the first time since 1988 no one knows which party will grab the ownership of Karachi, which party will fill the possible vacuum, created due to a split within the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The MQM which claimed the ownership of Karachi since 1988 failed to resolve multiple issues of Karachi, including poor law and order situation, a damaged infrastructure, unclean drinking water and electricity problems.
This election will provide a level playing field for most of the parties which may reshape the political discourse in Karachi. A party that vows to resolve the issues of Karachi can gain the support of Karachities. This general election would be a big test for all the parties.
People of Karachi, most of whom voted for MQM for so many years will take a shift in the election this time, it would be the test for all.
Chances are there that it may take a shift from three decades of Mohajir politics to Karachi politics.
It will be a big test of new political entity like Pak-Sarzameen Party (PSP), the two factions of MQM-Pakistan and the older ones like Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
In 2013 General Election getting more than eight hundred thousand votes, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will also face big test due to poor organizational setup in the city.
PPP can create history and can improve its position from traditional two or three National Assembly Seats.
The decision of PTI hairman Imran Khan to contest the upcoming elections from Karachi comes as a shock to their opponents.
Imran Khan actually has a shot at winning. Only time will tell if Imran can conquer Karachi or not but this decision is a strong political move for the PTI, which is why the party trying to bolster its presence in the city before the upcoming general elections.
Imran Khan has started a campaign promising to revive Karachi, this vision of a modern and developed Karachi will surely appeal to the entire city.
They are going door to door and seeking support from people of Karachi. The way Imran Khan getting great response from people of Karachi during latest visit on membership campaign, this time their vote bank will be stronger as compare to 2013.
However, to win Karachi, the PTI will need a dedicated team and a solid campaign more than anything. Therefore, the need of the hour is to create an atmosphere of goodwill and health relationship.
While PPP always showed its presence in Karachi and more or less maintained its vote bank retained one or two NA seats.
This time PPP is optimistic of winning at least five to six seats knowing that delimitation of constituencies in Karachi always provide come benefits to the PPP.
It is not only the real battle for Karachi but also for Karachi’s ownership.
Often called Mini Pakistan, Karachi is a city housing people from almost every province of Pakistan along with a large population of Mohajirs. Constituencies are also sharply divided on the same lines.
Thus, the party with a better organizational setup with better network and whoever show better sense of belonging to city, can win Karachi.