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Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city by population, with a population of 1.6 million according to the disputed 2017 census, and an estimated population of 2.5 million according to independent experts. The city of Karachi, which is considered the mini city of Pakistan, is also considered the largest city of Pakhtuns. According to a report by Karachi-based journalist and researcher Ziyur Rahman on the 2017 census data in Karachi, the number of Urdu-speaking people in the city has decreased from 54.23 percent to 48.52 percent compared to the 1998 census. in the background of Pashto, as well as Hindi, then the Pashto-speaking population increased from 11.42 percent to 15.01 percent compared to the previous census, while in Hazara Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Peshawar, Kohat city, the population of people speaking Hindi as a known language 4.24% was recorded separately.
Pakhtun neighborhoods in Karachi are located along the City Gates, National Highway and RCD Highway and include Sohrab Goth, Landhi Industrial Area, Site, Baldia Town, Kemari, Orangi and Old Mandi Green.
If we look at the Karachi elections, in the 2001 local elections, the Awami National Party led by the then provincial president Qamus Gul Khattak won 18 towns in Karachi, Sait and Baldiya Town and succeeded as governors in both regions. After that, two MLAs were elected from ANP Karachi in the 2008 general elections, one of whom was the Labor Minister in the PPP coalition government for five years. It should be remembered that in this government one Pakhtun Jayale of PPP from Kemari city was also the Minister of Transport.
Then, in the 2013 general election, the PTI MPA was elected from Sait Industrial Area, a large cluster of Pakhtun population, while in the 2018 general election, like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakhtun vote shifted to the PTI in Karachi. For the first time, 5 Pashto-speaking MNMs from Karachi were elected from 21 National Assembly seats on PTI ticket, including Saifur Rahman Mehsud, Alamgir Mehsud, Captain Jamil, Advocate Ataullah and Faheem Khan. Apart from this, three or four Pakhtun members of the Sindh Assembly were also elected from the city on PTI tickets.
On the other hand, the Pakistan People’s Party also nominated Agha Rafiullah from Landhi and then Qadir Khan Mandukhel from Baldia in the by-elections and gave a clear message to the Pakhtun voters that the alternative to nationalism in Karachi is PDP. But the question is that the city of Karachi, which is playing the role of a nursery for the Awami National Party as well as the Pakhtun Khaw Milli Awami Party, what has happened that suddenly their organizational structure has weakened and they are parliamentary.. They are also moving away from politics. .
There are many reasons for this, but as a student of political science and an activist, the party acts as a one-man show due to the monopolistic, authoritarianism and heredity of the organizational structure of both Pakhtun nationalist parties, and the organizational structure. lack is equal
Its consequences are also ignored in the city of Karachi. The ANP regional office in Bacha Khan Chowk, Banaras, the stronghold of Pakhtun politics in Karachi, has little political activity, while all party meetings are held at the provincial president’s bungalow in a posh area of the city. Factions have been formed within the organization by disgruntled workers, while the student organization Pakhtun Students’ Federation, which supplies the ANP with manpower, is also clearly divided at the Sindh level. The national youth organization, which was established with the aim of attracting Pakhtun youth to the party, was also dissolved.
The silence of the Pakhtun nationalist parties on the issues faced by the Pakhtuns such as not being issued residence certificates, PRC and dual address in Karachi is also an important reason for their popularity. At the same time, these parties have not been able to protest strongly against the demolition of slums like Gujjar and Orangi Nala and Mujahid Colony.
While the MQM lost constituencies from the Sindh PPP government in the city, constituencies with Pakhtun populations were also divided, where ANP, Map Pakhtunkhwa and recently formed the new National Democratic Movement Party too. was silent. The movement of Pakhtun supporters, which is active at the level of the republic, has also kept silent about the problems of the city until recently.
Due to all these reasons, on the one hand, PDP was able to attract the vote bank and leaders of Pakhtun nationalist parties due to being the provincial government, while in the local elections, Jamaat-e-Islami and PTI won among the people. The Pakhtun population of the city was mostly successful in getting votes. In this way, APN could not get any seat at the level of the Union Council.
Conversations with political activists in Karachi suggest that the city’s Pakhtun nationalist politics, like the country, is in crisis and questioning its leaders as the political families of Charsadda and Gulistan turn their attention to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Pakhtuns of Karachi are used only for sloganeering and street power. This is why the Pakhtun vote bank of Karachi now prefers national level parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, PPP and PTI.