Elections 2024: Who will Karachi crown in Feb 8 face-off?

With the clock ticking down to the February 8 general elections, over 9 million Karachiites are eagerly waiting to exercise their right to franchise to elect their representative in 22 National Assembly constituencies.

Considering the current political climate in the port city, which was once a bastion of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P), observers expect a cutthroat electoral battle.

So, the ground is set for a titanic clash between independent candidates and the political heavyweights including the MQM-P, the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPP-P) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

The shift in dynamics bespeaks a departure from the historical stronghold of the MQM-P, which is an unmistakably pronounced fact. 

As the city prepares for a fierce face-off, the complexities of this deep-lobed contest are likely to unfold, shaping the diverse mechanics of power in the region.

The Imran Khan-founded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which bagged 14 NA seats out of 21 during the 2018 general elections, was knocked out of the electoral arena and the former ruling party’s ticket-holders would contest the upcoming polls as independent candidates.

Last week, the Supreme Court annulled the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) January 10 order, depriving the former ruling party of its ‘iconic’ electoral symbol — the cricket bat — just days ahead of the general elections.

As per the reports around 600 candidates are in the race for 22 NA seats in the port city. Following a digital census conducted in 2023.

Stickers badges, to be used for campaigns of political parties, on display for sale at a shop ahead of general elections in Karachi, Pakistan January 18, 2024. — Reuters
Stickers badges, to be used for campaigns of political parties, on display for sale at a shop ahead of general elections in Karachi, Pakistan January 18, 2024. — Reuters

In NA-229 Malir constituency (previously NA-236), the PPP-P fielded Jam Abdul Karim Bijar who had won the 2018 polls. PML-N’s Qadir Bakhsh, MQM-P’s Fouzia Hameed, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) Muhammad Muhammad Eijaz, independent candidate Muhammad Mugheri among 15 candidates are vying for the seat.

In NA-230 (erstwhile NA-238), the PPP-P again awarded a ticket to Syed Rafiullah who had emerged victorious in the 2018 polls. PML-N’s Muzafar Shujra, TLP’s Muhammad Anwar, Pakistan Rah-e-Haq Party’s Awrangzib Faruqi, PTI backed independent candidate Dr Masroor Sial among 25 candidates are in the race.

From NA-231 (formerly NA-237), PML-N’s Jameel Ahmed, PTI-backed independent candidate Khalid Mehmood Ali, and PPP-P’s Abdul Kareem Baloch among 26 hopefuls are contesting elections.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ahmed who had won the 2018 elections from the constituency on the PTI’s ticket is now a candidate of the PML-N.

In NA-232 (Previously NA-239), PTI-supported independent candidate Aleem Adil Sheikh, MQM-P’s Aasia Ishaque, JI’s Taufeeq Uddin Siddiqui and PML-N-backed Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Pakistan’s (JUI-P) Owais Noorani are among 38 candidates who will try their luck in the polls.

From NA-233 Korangi (erstwhile NA-240), MQM-P’s Javeed Hameed, JI’s Abdul Jameel Khan, TLP’s Shehzada Shehbaz, PTI-fielded independent candidate Advocate Haris Meo are among the candidates.

PTI-backed independent candidate Faheem Khan, MQM-P’s Aamir Moin Pirzada, JI’s Akhtar Hussain Qureshi, and PML-N’s Saleem Zia are among 20 candidates who will lock horns to win the seat from NA-234 (formerly NA-241) constituency.

During the 2018 general elections, Faheem won the elections from the constituency.

Different political parties caps, T-shirts, badges, and flags are being sold in Karachi on January 16, 2024. — PPI
Different political parties caps, T-shirts, badges, and flags are being sold in Karachi on January 16, 2024. — PPI

From NA-235, MQM-P’s Iqbal Mahsood, PPPP’s Asif Khan, PTI-supported Saifur Rehman, and JI’s Dr Merajul Huda Siddiqui among 24 candidates are in the field.

It is pertinent to mention here that Rehman won the 2018 elections from the constituency on the PTI’s ticket.

In NA-236 (previously NA-243), PTI-backed Alamgir Khan, MQM-P’s Hasnat Sabir, JI’s Usama Razi, PPP-P’s Muzammil Qureshi are among the 35 candidates.

In the 2018 polls, the PTI founder Khan won the seat.

From NA-237 (erstwhile NA-244), MQM-P’s Rauf Siddiqui, JI’s Irfan Ahmad, PPP-P’s colonel (Retd) Asad Alam Niazi PTI backed independent candidate Advocate Zahoor Mehsood are among the 36 candidates. In the previous elections, the seat was won by PTI’s Ali Haider Zaidi.

In NA-238 (formerly NA-245), tough completion is expected among PTI-supported independent candidate Haleem Adil Sheikh, MQM-P’s Sadiq Iftikhar and JI’s Saifuddin. There are 25 candidates in the field in the constituency.

From NA-239 (erstwhile NA246), the PPP-P fielded Nabil Gabol, the JI Fazalur Rehman Niazi and the TLP Muhammad Sharjeel Goplani. PTI-backed independent candidate Yasir Baloch is among the 19 candidates.

NA-240 is the newly-created constituency in Karachi’s district South after the 2023 census. MQM-P’s Arshad Vohra, PPP-P’s Saleem Mandviwalla PTI-backed Ramzan Ghanchi, and JI’s Syed Abdul Rasheed among 19 candidates are vying for the seat.

From NA-241 (formerly NA-247), MQM-P Dr Farooq Sattar, PTI-backed independent candidate Khurram Sher Zaman, PPP-P’s Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig among 38 candidates are in the field. The seat was won by PTI leader now President Arif Alvi during the 2018 elections.

In NA-242 (erstwhile NA-249), PPP-P’s Qadir Mandokhail, MQM-P’s Syed Mustafa Kamal, PML-N’s Khawaja Shoaib, PTI-supported independent candidate Dawa Khan and 29 candidates are vying for the seat. In 2018, Faisal Vawda won the general elections from this constituency.

PPP-P’s Abdul Qadir Patel, MQM-P’s Humayun Usman, PTI-backed independent candidate Shujaat Ali Khan and JI’s Sheraz Jadoon among 19 candidates are vying for NA-243 (formerly NA-248) district Keamari constituency. In the 2018 polls, PPP-P’s Patel emerged victorious.

From NA-244 (erstwhile NA-252), MQM-P’s Dr Farooq Sattar, PTI-supported independent candidate Aftab Jahangir and JI’s Irfan Ahmad among 24 candidates are in the field. In the previous elections, the seat was won by PTI’s Jahangir.

A tough competition is expected among MQM-P’s Hafeezuddin, JI’s Muhammad Ishaq and independent candidate Ataullah in NA-245 (erstwhile NA-250). PTI’s Ataullah won the seat during the 2018 polls.

JI Karachi Emir and outspoken politician Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman will clash with MQM-P leader and former minister Syed Aminul Haque during the upcoming general elections in NA-246 (erstwhile NA-251). Haque won the seats in the last elections. There are 24 candidates in the field from the district west constituency.

MQM-P’s Khawaja Izharul Hassan and JI’s Munim Zafar are among the 27 candidates from NA-247 (erstwhile NA-253). The seat was clinched by MQM-P’s Usama Qadri in the last elections.

MQM-P’s Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, JI’s Muhammad Babar Khan and PTI-supported independent candidate Arsalan Khalid among 33 candidates are vying for NA-248 (erstwhile NA-254). PTI’s Muhammad Aslam won the seat in the previous elections.

From NA-249 (erstwhile NA-255), MQM-P’s Ahmed Saleem Siddiqui and JI’s Muslim Pervaiz among 27 candidates are in the field. Previously, the seat was bagged by the MQM-P.

MQM-P’s Farhan Chishti, and JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman among 26 candidates are vying for NA-250 (erstwhile NA-256). In the 2018 elections, PTI’s Najeeb Haroon secured the seat.  


— Kiran Khan is a correspondent at Geo News who covers political parties and the election commission in Karachi.

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