With the date for the final showdown inching closer, political parties in Karachi have stepped up their game for the by-elections on the NA-246 constituency to be held on April 23.
The NA-246 seat became vacant after the resignation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Nabil Gabol. He was elected from the Azizabad constituency on an MQM ticket in the May 2013 general elections.
On Monday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Karachi committee announced Imran Ismail as their candidate for the by-polls. The announcement was made by the party’s MNA, Arif Alvi, at a press conference.
Taking the opportunity to criticise the MQM, Alvi said the by-elections were an opportunity for the people of Karachi to rid themselves of the MQM’s activities. “I want to request the people to please come out of their homes on April 23. This is your chance to bring back peace to Karachi.” The party also announced to hold a public gathering at Jinnah Ground on April 19.
For his part, PTI candidate Imran Ismail said that for the MQM and the PTI, a single National Assembly seat did not matter. According to him, the by-elections will prove whether or not the people of Karachi wanted to get rid of their fear. “This election will prove if the people of Karachi are ready for change.”
Imran Ismail is one of the founding members of the PTI. He has earlier contested elections on the party ticket for the Sindh Assembly. Currently, he is serving as the party’s central deputy secretary-general.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2015.
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