Who Will Elections In Karachi - Can Anyone Challenge MQM & Altaf Hussain?

A day from today, more than seven million voters in Karachi will choose to exercise their right of electing a local representative who will manage their issues of basic governance.

But it is not simple as that. This is Karachi; dynamic and volatile, where even matters of basic governance come with a great amount of baggage, be it from the way local governments have been formed and managed in the past or from political quarters that directly impact the performance of candidates elected on local government posts.

The News sat down with key leaders of the four major political stakeholders — Waseem Akhtar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Ali Zaidi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Najmi Alam of the Pakistan People’s Party — and discussed with them their expectations and fears for beyond whatever happens on December 5.

Below are the leaders’ exclusive responses to a common set of questions which mostly pertain to matters of basic governance and law and order.

The latter part of this piece is dedicated to the individual challenges of each party and how in the candidates’ opinions their unique situations might affect the turnout of the first local government election being held in Karachi under a democratically-elected government.

The News: If a candidate from your party is elected as a mayor, what areas and problems would he or she dedicate the most efforts towards?

Najmi Alam, the Karachi president of Pakistan People’s Party: Our first priority will be to establish good governance in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), because without it, the civic issues cannot be resolved. There is a large number of ghost employees in the KMC upon whom millions of rupees are wasted every month in the form of salaries paid to them.

Read the full story here. 


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