Voter you thinking?: Kutchis unsure where to place their thumbs on ballots

Published: April 6, 2013
Email
The committee will also support people contesting elections independently in other constituencies. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD

The committee will also support people contesting elections independently in other constituencies. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD

KARACHI: 

Elections are a little over a month away but the city’s Kutchi community only knows for sure who they don’t want to vote for instead of who will be getting their much-sought-after thumb of approval.

In the past, the Kutchi community has shown support for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), but after its five-year rule, voices of discontent have started to emerge – and some of them are quite strong. Naveed Rathore from Saddar, said, “I’m going to select ‘none of the above’ option if the Election Commission of Pakistan provides it. I supported PPP, but not anymore. To do that would be to ruin my country.” He added that he might vote for the Kutchi Rabta Committee (KRC), but feels that it lacks a coherent vision.

The committee was formed back in 2010 to curb violence plaguing Lyari, but over time it morphed into a political pressure group. It shares a frosty relationship with the Peoples Amn Committee, a group flexing its political muscles in Lyari while enjoying PPP’s support.

But dissatisfaction with PPP does not necessarily translate into more votes for KRC as Rathore’s opinion shows. A resident of Agra Taj colony said his family might not support PPP in the upcoming elections. But he did not immediately mention KRC as a possible option. “The previous government has ruined the city and being a businessman, I’d prefer a strong person who can bring a visible change.”

Others from the community feel that there is a paucity of choice. “We have just one option and that’s KRC. I’m not a part of it, but who else can I vote for?” said Farooq Kutchi of Kalri.

Some members of the community said they don’t see the point of voting. For instance, Abdul Ghani Shah from Keamari said he did not like any of candidates, saying all of them were corrupt. “I won’t vote for anyone. I have also asked my family not to vote for anyone. Leaders have not done anything apart from playing with the public’s sentiments.”

Some KRC members claim that over three million registered voters in the city belong to the community. A sizeable chunk of the population of Lyari and Keamari comprise Kutchi community members. They also live in pockets across the city, including Saddar, Malir and New Karachi and Mawwach Goth. It is one of the few communities in Karachi which has fostered ties between its members through registered jamaat khanas where social gatherings take place weekly.

Going their own way

PPP had offered KRC tickets for PS-108 in Lyari about four months ago. But the committee refused and has now decided to contest elections itself. It has put forward six names to contest for provincial assembly seats and even one for a National Assembly seat.

The committee will also support people contesting elections independently in other constituencies.

Members of the committee allege that not a single political party in the city has attempted to tackle the problems plaguing the Kutchi community, such as poor access to education and healthcare. Hussain Kutchi, a member of the committee’s upper echelons, said, “It hurts us when political parties leave the city’s peace at the mercy of criminals.”

He was fairly confident about the political clout the committee has and even went on to say that it enjoys the support of “around 80 per cent” of the Kutchi community. “We have strong support in all six constituencies,” he claimed, adding that a total of 173 Kutchi registered groups are supporting the committee.

Hussain said that different political parties had contacted him about a possible alliance. “We have not taken a final decision as yet. Our doors are open for all political parties, including the PPP.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (14)

  • Shoaib
    Apr 7, 2013 - 12:50AM

    congratulation, Stand Kutchi Stand, once more give to chance KRC Kutchi Rabita Committee,

    Recommend

  • Atif Ansari
    Apr 7, 2013 - 3:02AM

    Kutchi Community is a big position vote bank in karachi, but they don’t decide to final choice, i think this plate form of KRC is most power full and suported to Karachi Life Style with Sindhi’s, i know they was also effected from Lyari Gang and other elements in Karachi. so now have this chance to chose right choice of Kutchi Rabta Commettee,

    Recommend

  • Fazil Umar
    Apr 7, 2013 - 4:58AM

    Katchi Peoples decided to Good Bye PPP, and Revelation from Power of Vote to Change there Life Style, KRC is stand and make Strong Position to Struggle.

    Recommend

  • Fazil Umar
    Apr 7, 2013 - 5:00AM

    I also request to Leadership of Katchi Community to close door to All Political Parties

    Recommend

  • MOOSA AHMED
    Apr 7, 2013 - 3:35PM

    We are confident and sure where to place our thumbs on ballots. We know who we are. We shall consociate our community at one point agenda (KRC) and we shall demonstrate our strength & power InshaAllah. I request to youth of kutchhi community do not loose this chance.

    Recommend

  • MOOSA AHMED
    Apr 7, 2013 - 3:54PM

    congratulation to Kutchhi Rabita Committee

    Recommend

  • shazia
    Apr 7, 2013 - 10:18PM

    I willing this story and katchhi want to change karachi’s possible
    I think LYARI, KEMARI,OLD CITY AREA SADDR
    TOWN, MALIR, BIN QASIM TOWN,
    IBRAHIM HYDRI, Is strong hold of kutchhi community

    Recommend

  • Iqbal A.Rehman
    Apr 7, 2013 - 11:30PM

    In the first time Kutchi community, Kutchi Rabita Commuter
    take right n good way to fight election independent

    Recommend

  • Sohail
    Apr 8, 2013 - 12:09AM

    Katchi community is a big stack holder in Karachi.
    When they stand up for there rights so they can able to change .
    mostly Katchi have business man, fisherman , trader, transporter,
    Farmers, bulders, architectures, karachi port & KDLB Founder, laburs and many more,
    also play role to build up PAKISTAN.

    Recommend

  • Rabnawaz
    Apr 8, 2013 - 2:04PM

    i think this time katchhi community thumb to katchhi candidates independantly, katchhi community vote bank is all over the province of sindh like Karachi, Thatha, Badin, Hyderabad, Tharparkar, and others district of Sindh, so they can able to wining position, but this time getting efforts and vaiting 5years and communicate all over the Sindh,

    Recommend

  • Saleh Muhammad
    Apr 8, 2013 - 3:09PM

    The name of Karachi is started from 18 century, in 1822 a birtish turist came to Karachi Sea area, he ask to a men , (what’s this place), then a fishermen reply to ( koro chey ) its mean what’s you say?,,, so this story also mentiond in a book of histry of Karachi, and book was published in 1856 , our Kutchhi also in Karachi from 18 century,

    Recommend

  • sarkar
    Apr 10, 2013 - 2:25PM

    Good KRC. Go ahead. You’ll win certainly

    Recommend

  • Apr 13, 2013 - 5:58PM

    best of luck krc

    Recommend

  • dada
    May 29, 2013 - 10:09PM

    is krc is a part of mqm or they are part of ppp????

    Recommend

More in Pakistan