Will Shahbaz Sharif win NA 249 Karachi?
KARACHI - If there’s one National Assembly constituency in Karachi that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) can actually hope to win, it’s NA-249 (West-II). Former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, the current PML-N chief, is contesting for the seat and, to pave the way for his win, the party has reportedly already made some arrangements.
While the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have formally announced their support for Sharif in the constituency, reports suggest that the PML-N is in talks with other players as well.
If a major contender such as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also throws its weight behind Sharif, it may be enough for the PML-N to secure the seat because the party already has a considerable vote bank in the constituency.
NA-249 is a new constituency, comprising the localities of Baldia Town, Ittehad Town, Rasheedabad and Mominabad, which previously fell under the adjoining constituencies of NA-239, NA-240, NA-241 and NA-242.
Despite the multi-ethnic composition of the constituency, the MQM has been winning this seat traditionally. With a population of 782,776, it is the third largest constituency in the city’s largest district.
However, the total number of registered voters here is 342,166, of whom 37 per cent are women.