During polling for the NA-240 by-polls, a leader of the Pak Sarzameen Party was shot following skirmishes with members of a competing political party. TLP’s chairman, Saad Rizvi, was unharmed, but numerous others were injured, according to TLP, while three MQM-P workers are in critical condition, according to MQM-P.
The voting completed at 5 p.m., and the seat vacated by MQM-P lawmaker Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan is now being counted. At the polls, there was a low turnout.
Violent clashes, low turnout
Workers from the MQM-P, PSP, and TLP have been shot at by members of other political parties, according to the MQM-P, PSP, and TLP.
PSP commander Iftikhar Alam is seen in a video being circulated on social media with a bleeding shirt as he receives medical assistance.
He was shot twice, according to the party, during an attack that also injured several other party members. People can be seen accosting Mustafa Kamal, the PSP head, in another video.
NA 240 By election
As voting for the by-election began at 8 a.m. today, the MQM-P is hoping to keep the National Assembly seat in constituency NA-240, which includes parts of Korangi District’s Landhi (Thursday).
The seat became vacant after MQM-P MNA Muhammad Ali Khan died on April 19 this year. The voting will run continuously until 5 p.m.
Nadeem Haider, the Deputy Returning Officer (DRO), inspected the arrangements at all of the voting stations.
Haider told the media that the ECP has completed all of its preparations. For the by-election, he stated, 309 polling booths have been put up. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has designated 203 polling stations as “very sensitive,” while the remaining 106 polling stations have been designated as “sensitive.”
The DRO further noted that in particularly sensitive polling sites, CCTV cameras have been deployed, as well as police and Rangers personnel.
Meanwhile, K-Electric has been ordered to ensure that the constituency gets uninterrupted power from June 15 to 17.
If prior performance and ethnic composition of a constituency are valid yardsticks, the MQM-P is expected to retain the NA-240 by-election. Given the current condition of affairs in Karachi, it is difficult to anticipate anything with precision.
Muhammad Abu Bakar, a member of the MQM-coordination P’s committee, is the party’s candidate, and he has received backing from the JUI-F. According to The News, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has fielded Shahzada Shahbaz, alias Shahzada Kashif, for the by-election.
The PTI, which now holds the majority of MNAs from Karachi, has boycotted the by-election, as has the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which has been pursuing a campaign for Karachi’s rights.
Rafiuddin Faisal of the MQM-Haqiqi (MQM-H) and Nasir Lodhi of the PPP are the candidates. The PML-N has stated that it will back the PPP candidate.
Shabbir Qaimkhani is running on the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) ticket. There are 529,855 voters in the constituency, with 294,385 men and 235,470 women.
The ballot papers had been printed, and CCTV cameras had been deployed at vulnerable polling sites, according to an ECP statement. Police officers are stationed at each voting location, while Rangers members serve as a ‘rapid response force.’
NA 240 PAST ELECTIONS
Khan of the MQM-P won the NA-240 seat with 61,165 votes in the 2018 general elections, defeating Muhammad Asif of the TLP with 30,535 votes and Farrukh Manzoor of the PTI with 29,939 votes.
Abdul Jamil Khan of the JI, who ran under the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal flag, received over 19,000 votes, while Afaq Ahmed of the MQM-H received over 14,000 votes and Mohammad Feroze of the PPP received over 7,000 votes. The People’s Socialist Party (PSP) received 6,661 votes.