Karachi s NA-235 constituency, previously known as NA-242, stands out with the lowest number of registered voters among the 22 National Assembly seats. According to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), a total of 170,176 registered voters, constituting a mere 16.63% of the constituency’s total population of 1,024,024 voters.
The notable decline of over 13,000 registered voters from the 2018 elections to 2024 sheds light on challenges faced by NA-235. A significant portion of residents lacking a permanent address appears to be a key factor, discouraging them from participating in the electoral process within this constituency.
NA-235 encompasses a diverse population, representing Sindhi, Urdu-speaking, Punjabi, and Pakhtun backgrounds. Key areas, including Ahsanabad, New Sabzi Mandi, and Super Highway, contribute to the constituency’s unique demographic mix. The constituency also holds sway over three provincial seats — PS-97, PS-98, and PS-99.
Election dynamics and Candidates
A total of 96 polling stations will be established, with 25 candidates in the running, representing 13 political and religious parties alongside 12 independent candidates. Notable contenders include Saifur Rehman (PTI independent), Muhammad Asif Khan (PPP), Muhammad Iqbal Khan (MQM-P), Sharafat Khan (PML-N), Dr Meraj Ul Huda Siddiqui (Jamaat-e-Islami), and Syed Ali Hussain (Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party).
Saifur Rehman, the current representative, secured victory in 2018 with a significant lead. Past elections reveal the constituency’s historical dynamics, with different parties claiming victory. Siddiqui of Jamaat-e-Islami expresses optimism about winning the NA seat, emphasizing support from the educated and middle-class demographics. Iqbal Khan from MQM-P highlights the party’s historical dominance in the constituency.
In an exclusive conversation with ARY News, PTI-backed candidate Saifur Rehman confidently stated, “My competition isn’t against anyone in this constituency, given that I secured a substantial victory in the previous election, tripling the votes received by the second-place candidate,” he asserts a strong chance of re-election if the process remains transparent.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s Meraj Ul Huda Siddiqui remains hopeful, stating, “I am optimistic about the likelihood of our success. The educated and middle-class communities are likely to rally behind us as they seek an end to corruption and land grabbing. With their support, we anticipate emerging victorious, InshAllah,” he stated.
Iqbal Khan of MQM-P, discussing the party’s historical hold on the seat, comments, “It won the seat in the 2008 and 2013 elections but lost in the 2018 general elections, which was not an election but a selection.”
گبول برادری سے ملاقات جس میں #NA235 سے محمد اقبال خان اور #PS98 سے ارسلان پرویز نے شرکت کی اور ان کے مسائل سنے پھر محمد اقبال خان اور ارسلان پرویز انہیں @MQMPKOfficial میں مدعو کیا جس پر گبول برادری نے بھرپور ردعمل کا اظہار کیا۔ ایم کیو ایم پاکستان کی مکمل حمایت کی ہے۔… pic.twitter.com/hZr5Bs9kLN
— MQM Pakistan Digital (@MQMPUpdates) January 28, 2024
As of the time of reporting, PPP’s Asif Khan did not respond to calls or messages on WhatsApp, leaving his stance and campaign strategies undisclosed.