The politics of Karachi

Published on by KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ


The politics of Karachi (Urdu: کراچی کی سیاست‎) takes place at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of the government. Karachi is a multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural and multireligious metropolitan city. The demographics of Karachi are important as most politics in Karachi is driven by ethnic politics. Lala Fazal-ur-Rehman is the current administrator and head of the city's government.
At a national level, Karachi is also the capital of the province of Sindh, hosting the Provincial Assembly of Sindh and where the political seat of the Government of Sindh is centred.

Municipal politics

The 2001 Local Government Ordinance provided for the devolution of government to district administrations. Naimatullah Khan was elected as the first Nazim (mayor) of Karachi in 2001 after the devolution plan. Syed Mustafa Kamal was elected as the second Nazim of Karachi in 2005.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) dominates the municipal political scene in Karachi. The MQM had the most elected members in the City District Government of Karachi (CDGK) elections in 2005.

Provincial and federal politics

During the 2008 Pakistani general election, most of the seats in Karachi were won by the secular MQM followed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The results showed and finalised a tilt in the favour of MQM from the city in terms of both provincial and federal politics.

Ethnic politics

The demographics of Karachi are important as most politics in Karachi is driven and influenced by ethnic affiliation. The success of the MQM has always been patronised by the fact that city's population is dominated by the Muhajir people who remain loyal to the party, which was originally created and led by Altaf Hussain as a means to fight for the community's rights. Today, the party's following and fan base has extended to Karachi's religious minorities and interior sindh sindhi polpulation as well as Punjabi, baluchi, siraeki, pashtuns, kashmiri's who lived in karachi and other parts of Sindh.[1] Pashtuns make up second largest ethnic group in Karachi with 7.0 millions pashtuns live in Karachi. Huge Number of Pashtuns live in the city from early 60s, most of them belong to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and started to migrate to Karachi in the early 1960s during the Ayub Khan dictatorship and were employed as labourers in the city’s widespread construction business. Some of them, including those of Afghan origin, identify with more puritanical and conservative traditions and have been known supporters of ultra-conservative groups. Those who are secular support the left-wing Awami National Party (ANP). Simultaneously, some of the Punjabi community supports moderate conservative parties such as the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and the Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad (PPI).[1]

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation

 
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is a public corporation and governing body to provide municipal services in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan.
History
A Conservancy Board was established to control Cholera epidemic in Karachi during British rule in 1846. The board was upgraded into Municipal Commission in 1852. In 1853 Municipal Commission was turned into Karachi Municipal Committee. The foundation stone was laid of KMC building on bundar road ( Now M.A.Jinnah road) in 1927. In 1933 Karachi Municipal Committee was upgraded to Karachi Municipal Corporation by Karachi Municipal Act. Karachi Municipal Corporation was turned in Karachi Metropolitan Corporation in 1976. Zonal Municipal Committees were established in 1987. The zonal committees were merged again in KMC. Five District Municipal Corporations (DMC) were established in 1987. The KMC was abolished in 2000 and 5 DMC's were merged in City District Karachi.[2] The City District Karachi was divided in 18 Towns and 178 union councils.[3] In 2011 Sindh Government restored again Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and 5 District Municipal Corporations (DMC).
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