Vote(s) of confidence: MWM banks on Shia voters across Sindh to sweep upcoming general elections

Published: April 20, 2013

MWM Karachi secretary-general Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi

KARACHI: With the slogan of ‘Labaik ya Hussain,’ and a tent as their election symbol in the forthcoming general elections, Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) – the leading political group for the Shia community – hopes to put up a tough competition against its political opponents in Karachi.

The party is testing its political strength for the first time with 140 candidates on the National and provincial assembly seats across the country.

In Sindh, the party has designated 40 candidates for seats of both the assemblies, out of which it is contesting on five National Assembly seats and seven Sindh Assembly seats from Karachi.

In an interview with The Express Tribune, the MWM Karachi political secretary, Syed Asghar Abbas Zaidi, said that the party’s aims were not only to gain seats but to change the system to the Islamic one. “We want to bring Shariat-e-Mohammadi in the country and eradicate terrorism and corruption. Our community’s best people were targeted and no one heard our cries – now we are standing up for our rights and for the protection of the Shia community,” said Zaidi, adding that the community had the power to bring the whole country to a standstill with their peaceful sit-ins.

According to Zaidi, more than five million people of the Shia community live in more than 25 areas, including Soldier Bazaar, Gulshan, Abbas Town, Malir, Jaffer-e-Tayyar, Kharadar, FB Area, Hussain Hazara Goth, Mughal Hazara Goth, Ancholi, Rizvia and Hussainabad.

The party plans to contest elections from these locations.

Representing a community

“We might have political differences with other political parties but we don’t have enmities with any of them,” said the political secretary. He is also a candidate for the National Assembly seat, NA-253, constituting areas of Abbas Town, Pehalwan Goth, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Rizvia-II.

When asked about their competition, Zaidi said that votes from the Shia community earlier went to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. “But this time since we’ve named our candidates, the Shia vote bank of the MQM will be cut down. Jamaat-e-Islami has never gotten votes from our community and it is highly unlikely that they will get them in these upcoming elections.”

He said that the party was facing problems from a political party in the city and MWM’s wall chalking was also removed in Shah Faisal Colony and Malir, after which people of the Shia community also retaliated.

Political friendships

Regarding political alliances and seat adjustments, Zaidi said that they are in contact with Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Sunni Tehreek. No decision, however, has been taken as yet.

From Karachi, the party is contesting on NA-252, NA-253, NA-250, NA-257 and NA-258 of the National Assembly and PS-119, PS-118, PS-117, PS-126, PS-127, PS-94, PS-102 of the Sindh Assembly.

“We are contesting only on those seats where we have our vote bank and all these areas are Shia majority.  “Our slogan ‘Labaik Ya Hussain’ will bring people together to vote for the tent which will change the system.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Askari Raza
    Apr 20, 2013 - 2:49AM

    Asking vote in the name of sect is a crime according to elections laws

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  • raahat
    Apr 20, 2013 - 3:28AM

    millions of voters will wait see results…

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  • Ebad
    Apr 20, 2013 - 4:57AM

    Oh come on! Now tomorrow ASWJ would claim their party as a torchbearer of Deobandi/Wahabi ideology… Asking vote in the name of your beliefs is nothin more than a political tactic Recommend

  • Hassan
    Apr 20, 2013 - 12:18PM

    @Ebad: They are already asking

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  • Ali Raza
    Apr 20, 2013 - 12:37PM

    They are presenting themselves as the future leaders but can’t name the political party that they say is causing them problems in Karachi? But then,no one in Karachi can dare name that party.Recommend

  • Voice Of D.I.Khan
    Apr 20, 2013 - 1:34PM

    No political party helped Shia community when thousands of Shia were butchered in the last 5 years. If one political worker is killed, these parties cry like a baby, but no one cares for Shia. My Vote for MWM Inshallah…

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  • abdullah
    Apr 20, 2013 - 2:20PM

    Sindh mostly vote for leftist parties with some exceptions they even voted for Muslim League before it was hijacked by rightist and dictators.

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  • Sindhi Pakistani
    Apr 20, 2013 - 3:13PM

    Sindhi people will not vote for religion. They won’t win seats from Sindh.

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  • FARHAN
    Apr 20, 2013 - 3:38PM

    This is certainly a big loss to MQM as it is going to lose a lot of Shia votes from Karachi -a community on which it has been heavily dependent since its inception.

    Even If MWM emerges as a spoiler, it will be big loss for MQM. This will be a good gain for Jamat e Islami, ANP and other opponents of MQM in the city.

    MQM may have to pay a price for its mismanagement of Karachi city in last 5 years.

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  • Shia but.......
    Apr 20, 2013 - 6:24PM

    Religious parties should preach Islam in Seminars and Mosques that will help our community more, we need a complete different mindset that will bring change in our society, Religion has nothing to do with Pakistani politics we are a democratic state and Islam doesn’t support democracy biggest e.g. of Islamic states are Iran and Saudi Arabia. Instead of politics all Mullahs should make peace between different sects and bring all sects together in a peaceful manner that will reduce extremism. I myself is a Shia but that doesn’t make me vote for a Shiite party in the name of Islam, yes of course I am deeply saddened and hurt with the continuous target killings and series of injustice of Shia’s in Pakistan, I do want our army and government to take strict actions against LEJ terrorists. Heinous act of crimes like these can not stop brotherhood between Shia’s and Sunni’s in Pakistan. I would urge every Sunni please don’t vote for MMA or IJ because you are Sunni, and Shia’s must not vote MWM because of the obvious reasons you have all rights to vote anyone but PLEASE cast vote on the basis of ideology and the betterment of Pakistan !!

    I wish for a Beautiful Pakistan, a Happy Pakistan, a Prosper Pakistan, an Emerging Economy Pakistan, a Pakistan free of terrorism and my dream goes on and on and on!!

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  • wizarat Rizvi
    Apr 20, 2013 - 6:53PM

    I wonder who is behind this bida’t. Do not they have some sensible advisors among themselves.
    supporting muzloom is totally different than contesting elections. MWM still have time to withdraw their candidates in favour of others who would support the cause of the Mazloom (Oppressed).

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  • anees
    Apr 20, 2013 - 7:32PM

    Bad news for MQM!
    MQM is going to loss their allies due to their mismanagement and hypo-critic political rule.
    Always remains in power and at the same time always blames other parties for the wrong doings of govt

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  • Ali Zaid
    Apr 21, 2013 - 12:00AM

    Having suffered terribly during the past year with 11 of our relatives embracing martyrdom (Dr. Hassan Alam, Mursaleen & Safdar Ali in separate targeted attacks and 8 in the Abbas Town blast), I only witnessed crocodile tears from political groups and none of the killers have been arrested to date.
    However, I always witnessed some representative of MWM in the funeral of our martyred relatives who also offered their condolences. Aside personal experience, MWM lead the two sit-ins across Pakistan which continued for 4-5 Days and ended successfully WITHOUT violence or takfiri acts. Instead Shia-Sunni unity was promoted in these Dharnas. The thing about MWM that attracted me the most is that they are not planting Shia Molana(s) as their only candidates. Their candidates include professionals (lawyers, doctors, engineers) and they have also given ticket to Sunni candidates in upper Punjab. Their manifesto has a very clear foreign, anti-terrorism, education, health and sociology policy which attracted me the most.

    Whether or not MWM get a seat in the election 2013, I will vote them (Insha’Allah)
    We should not jump into the mouth of crocodile by again voting the known extortionists, corruption kings, target killers, looters and opportunists. Its a moral duty to vote moderate forces in the upcoming polls.

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  • Aabis
    Apr 23, 2013 - 9:58PM

    Iqbal said:
    Ho Juda Ho Deen Siasat Se To Reh Jati Hai Changaiz.

    Thats why politics is an integral part of religion. As far MWM is concerned, yes their vote bank is sect based but they dont promote sectarian issues. Rather name suggest she is promoting Wahadat(unity) among muslims.

    Unlikely ASWJ whose only agenda is to target on sect. Best wishes MWM.

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  • SALMAN ALI
    May 9, 2013 - 4:59PM

    give your vote to MWM either they win or lose its to wake up for future we need force like (hizbullah of lebanon)

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