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Rivals raise political temperature in Karachi ahead of general elections

May 3, 2018
 

File Photo: A rally of MQM in Karachi

Just a few months before the elections, Karachi has once again become a political battleground as three key political parties─MQM, PPP and PSP─are fighting for dominance in Pakistan’s financial hub.

Karachi has witnessed a fierce political fight between the political parties this week.

On April 30, PPP staged a rally at Liaquatabad’s Tanki ground, a stronghold of MQM-P. All the factions of MQM, including the PSP, felt threatened and have decided to gear up political activities in the city.

PPP chairman Bilawal said his party will free Karachi from ‘Mustaqil Qaumi Musibat’, referring to MQM, adding that Karachi’s mandate was always hijacked by use of force.

PSP chief Mustafa Kamal walks past cameramen before the news conference. ─Reuters

PSP chief Mustafa Kamal responded to Bilawal’s narrative. “PPP is asking for another chance to develop Sindh and Karachi,” he said.

“Was Narendra Modi governing Sindh for the past 10 years?”

Kamal, the chairman of MQM’s splinter group, not only criticised PPP but also lashed out at his former colleagues in now minus-Altaf MQM.

“The Muhajirs have awakened,” he said. “The MQM-P is afraid of PSP and they are now trying to scare people that PPP would enter their homes after holding a jalsa in their area.”

Bahadurabad and PIB, the two MQM groups have also apparently set aside their differences and are going to hold a rally on May 5 in the same vicinity where the PPP had staged a gathering on April 30.

Dr Farooq Sattar and Amir Khan, the two MQM leader who were at loggerheads after a row within the party ranks over senate tickets, addressed a joint press conference today (May 3) and assured workers that they are united again.

“MQM is our identity,” said Sattar. “We will tell the PPP difference between a Jalsa and Jalsi on May 5.”

Amir Khan said Sattar was their ‘elder’ and would always remain so. “Some politicians think that MQM-P has been weakened. They should see our unity now.”

Bilawal Bhutto addressing a rally in Karachi on April 29.

Responding to MQM’s presser, PPP leader Saeed Ghani said the Karachi-based party was a big hurdle in the way of Karachi’s development.

“MQM filled the minds of Urdu-speakers with hatred,” he said. “They have started the muhajir politics again since they are under pressure.”

He accused the MQM-P of carrying out anti-PPP graffiti in Karachi.

 
 
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