The fall of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) is expected to benefit other mainstream political parties in Karachi and across Sindh since the Altaf Hussain-founded party had maintained a heavy mandate and vote bank in the region for past several decades.
In the 2018 general elections, a number of notable candidates from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and other mainstream parties have decided to flex their muscle and contest for Karachi seats.
Also, the numerous factions of MQM are also fielding their top candidates.
For instance, in NA-247, MQM-P’s Farooq Sattar, PSP’s Mustafa Kamal, ex-president Pervez Musharraf, PTI’s Arif Alvi and PPP’s Abdul Aziz Memon will all go head to head in the polls.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan will go head-to-head against PPP’s Shehla Raza for Karachi’s NA-243.
The previous political party in power, PML-N, will also test its following in Karachi and across the Sindh. According to reports from party’s inner circles, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and ex-PM Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz will also contest polls for a limited number of constituencies in Karachi.
Only time will decide whether the space created by MQM’s fall will be occupied by one of its factions or create opportunities for others.