KARACHI: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will face an uphill battle in one its safest constituencies, NA-248 Lyari in the forthcoming general elections, in the aftermath of PPP’s mix response to the issue of banned People’s Amn Committee (PAC).
The party is virtually at the mercy of banned outfit in its stronghold, annoying which can cause it a historical defeat on important seat that had been sending founder of the party Z.A Bhutto, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari in to the national legislature.
Sources told The Frontier Post the new political voyage of Nabil Gabool, who twice elected from the constituency on the PPP ticket, was clear indication that the things in the most troubled area of the metropolis were no more in control of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
NA 248 (Lyari), which has traditionally been the fortress of PPP, consists of areas like Chakiwara, Baloch Para, Katchi Colony, Agra Taj, Hazara Colony, Kalakot and others parts where the writ of the government completely ceases to exist.
According to media reports, the unwilling of police and other law enforcement agency (LEAs) to take any action when the heads of Lyari gangsters, Arshad Pappu, his brother and accomplice Pathan were being used as football by the opponents for hours on last Saturday night, speaks volume about the writ of the government in the area.
Though Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has not finalized any name for the constituency, the Lyari’s People’s Amn Committee has suggested Shahjehan Baloch, former UC Nazim-11 for the seat, warning to contest against PPP candidate if the party declines to consider him, sources said.
The PPP, on other hand, is trying to win the support of banned outfit by offering one of the PS to the PAC nominated local leader, Shahjehan, the source privy to party discussions in this regards disclosed.
“The party which is unwilling to accommodate a local level leader for the seat also does not want to present any big name for the electorate, which the party would later vacate for by-election of its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Sources said that in case the PAC demands were not met, the group may land its own man as independent candidate. It is also likely that the Uzair Baloch of People’s Amn Committee become the PML-N candidate on the seat, which will be serious blow to the ruling party.
The politics of the vicinity had been dominated by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), religious parties and Baloch nationalists till the popular upsurge in the 1970s which changed the electoral politics of the area and the PPP, headed by late Z.A Bhutto, emerged as an unchallengeable political force by securing all the seats from this constituency.
In 1988, former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto had made it to the NA by securing 62,046 votes. Her nearest rival was IJI’s Jamshed Ahmed Khan with 10,731 votes. In the 1990 elections, present President Asif Ali Zardari was elected MNA from the Lyari seat.
In 1997 PML-N almost snatched this seat from PPP when Mama Yunus of PML-N lost by only 312 votes to Waja Kareem Dad of PPP.
However, after Mama Yunus, PML-N had been unable not find an appropriate contender from Lyari and PPP won election from here virtually unchallenged. But now the situation has become different with the developments in recent past, the course said.
Although the ratio of votes secured by PPP in Lyari in 2008 polls was much higher, especially owing to the boycott of MMA, the party candidate, Nabil Ahmed Gabol had taken less than half (48 percent) of the total votes in general election 2002 whereas the opponent candidates were able to win the trust of 52 percent of the total registered votes of the constituency.
In such a situation, it becomes risky rather fatal for PPP to loose the votes of PAC, which will tantamount to loosing the seat which it has never lost since its inception.
Sources said the political compulsion to not annoy the Amn committee vote bank had been the major cause of PPP opposition to operation against criminals in Lyari.
During the most recent crackdown in the troubled area of the city, the PPP Karachi president Abdul Qadir and leader Shehla Reza had held a press conference against it.
Published on March 19, 2013