Pakistan elections: Imran Khan files nomination for Karachi’s NA-243
Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician and Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan files nomination papers from Karachi for the upcoming general elections due on July 25.
During a visit to Karachi last month he had announced his intention to contest a National Assembly seat from Pakistan’s biggest city, which since 1988 has been dominated by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party in national and provincial elections.
Imran Khan files nomination papers from NA-243 constituency but PTI’s senior leader Asad Umar said he would also be contesting on other NA seats.
Umar added that the PTI chairman would contest the elections from four or five different constituencies scattered across the country.
In the 2013 elections, Khan had contested from NA-1 (Peshawar – II), NA- 56 (Rawalpindi — VII), NA-71 (Mianwali – I) and NA-126 (Lahore – IX).
Karachi has assumed significance in the coming elections as Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) vice chairman Bilawal Bhutto has also filed his nomination papers day from NA-246.
Bilawal’s sister Aseefa Bhutto and father Asif Ali Zardari will also contest elections from seats in Karachi.
Prominent human rights activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir has also announced he will be contesting a seat from Karachi as an independent candidate.
Political analysts believe that with the MQM now scattered into several groups and their founder-leader Altaf Hussain banned from politics in Pakistan, other political parties now see an opportune moment to end the MQM’s stronghold on Karachi.
Since 1988, the MQM has won a majority of the national assembly and provincial assembly seats from Karachi and dominated the city’s political landscape.
Sania Ehsan The Kootneeti Team - South Asian Monitor