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 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]

Language politics[edit]

1972 Language violence in Sindh occurred starting on July 7, 1972 when the Sindh Assembly passed the The Sind Teaching, Promotion and Use of Sindhi Language Bill, 1972 which established Sindhi language as the sole official language of the province resulting in language violence in Sindh, Pakistan.[2]

2015 Municipal elections[edit]

The municipal elections for the 247 union councils and union committees of Karachi are as follows: District West 6 union councils, 46 union committees, District South 31 union councils and committees, Korangi 37 union committees, Malir 32 union councils and 13 union committees and District Central 51 union committees. Apart from election for chairman and vice-chairman of 247 union councils and committees 1520 ward councilors will also be elected, while direct polls will be held for 1235 seats, based upon the discretion of a candidate or group having majority in the panel.[3] The municipal elections where held in Karachi on December 5, 2015 and the most seats in the city were won by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).[4] The MQM won 138, PPP won 25, Jamaat-e-Islami and PTI alliance won only 17 union council seats. Waseem Akhtar was nominated as the next Mayor of Karachi on December 15, 2015.[5]

See also[edit]


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