Election 2018: Sindh yet divided into pro-anti PPP vote By Aasma Zulfiqar Syed

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The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is the only party which has fielded candidates on all Provincial and National Assembly seats in throughout Sindh, where other parties and alliances have failed to do so.

Despite this the PPP is facing different types of issues in its home ground. It is wishful for some seats in urban areas also which have remained dominated by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

It is an unfortunate fact that the PPP’s presence is being felt in Sindh only. The split in MQM has also damaged anti-PPP groups unlike in the past where MQM’s 50 or more MPAs and over 25 MNAs provided others easy opportunities to form coalition government minus PPP. This time, urban Sindh’s mandate would be totally divided as the space is open for all.

Politically In rural Sindh, the PPP has not much strong challenges, till last two weeks. But After NAB and Supreme Court called PPP supremo former president Asif ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, situation has bit changed. Still PPP may emerge as single biggest party but will lose some seats. PPP wants to fill this deficit by wining few seats from urban centre.

Zardari had been working on plan to play his role effectively in a hung Parliament, for this purpose he needed 40-plus seats. This he can only do in Sindh.

In Sindh its again politics of anti-PPP and pro PPP, though this time nationalist factor is much missing. At the same time Imran Khan was not able to make dent in the PPP strong hold.

It is being believed that in July 25 election urban Sindh’s mandate would be divided.

Contrary to populous politics of PPP which has been its hallmark, Zardari opted for electables’ politics. In this bid he succeeded to get a huge number of electable in party fold. This also created problem, as two to three party men emerged as aspirant in each constituency.

He managed to bring former PML-F leader Jam Madad Ali in Sanghar and Sheerazis in Thatta.

PPP is facing opposition of Pir Pagaro’s PML-F and his Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), who has grouped other anti-PPP elements including some independents.

PTI has two strong persons like former governor Muhammad Mian Soomro and former chief minister Sindh Liaquat Ali Jatoi; while Mumtaz Bhutto is also there in GDA.

Gadi Nasheens of shrines are also there. Pir Pagara of Hur Jamaat, Shah Mahmood Qureshi of Ghausia Jamaat. Makhdooms of Hala’s Sarwari Jamaat are considered effective.  Makhdooms of Hala’ are with PPP, but can swith over to other Pirs, when needed, observers believed. Makhdoom Jamil-uz-Zaman was leave the party, he changed his decision when the PPP handed over Matiari to his family.

To give PPP tough time, now PTI and MMA has also joined the hands of GDA, and decided to support each other’s in different constituencies. But this seat adjustment will not work in Urban areas, particularly in Karachi.

Reports suggested the PPP still has an edge, but mishandling in awarding tickets opposition from its own ranks.

While awarding tickets the PPP leadership handed over some cities and districts to one or two families due to pressure, hence leaving no space for others. PPP veteran Khursheed Shah, his son and son-in-law are contesting on party tickets in Sukkur. Likewise Shaikh family of Sukkur got bigger share.

Islamuddin Sheikh is a senator, his son mayor of Sukkur and now he got a ticket for another son.

Former home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and his spouse Dr Fehmida Mirza supported by GDA have caused serious challenges in Badin district. Here old PPP loyalists Nizamanis have left the party.

Another veteran from Mirpurkhas Ali Nawaz Shah also quit party. In Naushero Feroze Abdul Haq Bhurt and Abdul Sattar Rajapr are in the opponents camp.

In Jamshoro the party could not sustain the pressure of Malik Asad Sikandar and awarded him tickets leaving aside the PPP Sindh Deputy Secretary General Dr Sikandar Shoro, who has found alliance with Jalal Mohammad Shah.

Apparently nationalists are missing from election 2018. Only three major nationalist leaders Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Dr Qadir Magsi and Ayaz Latif Palijo are in contest. Ayaz Latif Palijo is part of GDA. Former minister for local bodies Haji Jam Khan Shoro is facing Ayaz Latif Palijo in Hyderabad/Qasimabad.

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