One killed as violence mars Karachi’s NA-240 by-poll

PSP, MQM points fingers at each other, TLP

Picture source - Twitter @PSPPakistan

Violence marred the by-election in NA-240 Karachi with one person losing their life and 10 being injured.

The PSP alleged that Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers were involved on firing at PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal during a media talk, and added that central leaders of the party were injured.

The party also said that its central election office was attacked while Mustafa Kamal and President Anis Kaimkhani were present.

The PSP also alleged that the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) had carried out a “deadly attack” on PSP’s chairman in Landhi-6.

The PSP also alleged that the MQM-P, election officials and presiding officer had colluded to rig the election.

On the other hand, MQM-P lawmaker Izharul Hassan told local media that at least eight of his party members were tortured by PSP members with police and Rangers being present.

The party said that initial violence occurred between the TLP and PSP, and later both the parties targeted MQM-P.

Moreover, the Edhi Foundation also reported that it became a victim of violence, with one of its ambulances being fired upon.

The foundation stated that all staff were safe.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took notice of the violence and directed the provincial inspector general to prevent anyone from taking the law into their hands.

He said that the environment of elections should be kept peaceful.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, while talking to media said that the violence took place where there was no polling station or police present.

The chief election commissioner, Sikandar Sultan Raja also took notice of the incident and directed Sindh’s provincial commissioner that strict against be taken against culprits, and a comprehensive report should be made.

The NA-240 by-election has 25 contesting candidates with over 0.5 million registered voters.

The by-elections are being held due to the NA seat falling vacant as a result of the death of MQM-P MNA Iqbal Ali in April.

The constituency, Korangi Karachi II comprises of areas previously part of NA-255 and NA-254. The new constituency was created on the provisional results of the 2017 population census.

Among the main contestants are, inter-alia, MQM-P’s Muhammad Abu Bakar, TLP’s Shahzada Shahbaz, PPP’s Nasir Rahim, PSP’s Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani, MQM’s Syed Rafiuddin. The PML-N had withdrawn from the process in favour of PPP.