Politics of Karachi

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The politics of Karachi (Urdu: سیاست کراچی‎) takes place at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of the government. Karachi is a multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural and multireligious metropolitan city. The demographics of Karachi are important as most politics in Karachi is driven by ethnic politics. Lala Fazal-ur-Rehman is the current administrator and head of the city's government.

At a national level, Karachi is also the capital of the province of Sindh, hosting the Provincial Assembly of Sindh and where the political seat of the Government of Sindh is centred.

Municipal politics[edit]

The 2001 Local Government Ordinance provided for the devolution of government to district administrations. Naimatullah Khan was elected as the first Nazim (mayor) of Karachi in 2001 after the devolution plan. Syed Mustafa Kamal was elected as the second Nazim of Karachi in 2005.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) dominates the municipal political scene in Karachi. The MQM had the most elected members in the City District Government of Karachi (CDGK) elections in 2005.

Provincial and federal politics[edit]

During the 2008 Pakistani general election, most of the seats in Karachi were won by the secular MQM followed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The results showed and finalised a tilt in the favour of MQM from the city in terms of both provincial and federal politics.

Ethnic politics[edit]

The demographics of Karachi are important as most politics in Karachi is driven and influenced by ethnic affiliation. The success of the MQM has always been patronised by the fact that city's population is dominated by the Muhajir people who remain loyal to the party, which was originally created and led by Altaf Hussain as a means to fight for the community's rights. Today, the party's following and fan base has declined because of the militancy mindset and aggressive political approach.[1] Pashtuns make up second largest ethnic group in Karachi with 7.0 millions pashtuns live in Karachi. Huge Number of Pashtuns live in the city from early 60s, most of them belong to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and started to migrate to Karachi in the early 1960s during the Ayub Khan dictatorship and were employed as labourers in the city’s widespread construction business. Some of them, including those of Afghan origin, identify with more puritanical and conservative traditions and have been known supporters of ultra-conservative groups. Those who are secular support the left-wing Awami National Party (ANP). Simultaneously, some of the Punjabi community supports moderate conservative parties such as the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and the Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad (PPI).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Conflicting Karachi: The Dawn Blog, Nadeem F. Paracha (October 2010)

External links[edit]