MQM have been winning the seats for national assembly and provincial assembly during last three decades, in Hyderabad. The division in the MQM would likely divide the votes.
A confusing situation prevails about the election results. From the Muttahida Quomi Movement Pakistan, Pak Sar Zameen Party, Afaaque Ahmed and other leaders used to claim that the Muhajirs vote will not be divided at any cost. But this claim was not translated into reality. These all are contesting on their separate platforms.
The influence of PPP, religious parties and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf can be felt in second major city of Sindh, which was once ruled by MQM. New delimitation would also affect election results, observers believe.
In the district Hyderabad there are three national assembly seats – NA 225, NA 226, NA 227, including urban, rural, Qasimabad and tehsil Latifabad.
Hyderabad district taken as cultural capital of Sindh- played effective political role in past, though it has remained divided on ethnical lines. In Sindh Assembly Hyderabad is represented through six seats including PS 62, PS 63, PS 64, PS 65, PS 66 and PS 67.
Before emergence of MQM in 1980s bradaries (Tribes) and religious factors were dominant on the politics of Hyderabad. Now in absence of strong political representative political party it is feared bradari system politics may again prevail in the election 2018.
Except Qasimabad and Tando Wali Muhammad provincial assembly seats PPP was not able to put any strong candidate.
The religious parties enjoyed political influence till eighties in Hyderabad, are now united under the banner of Muttahida Majls-e-Amal (MMA) to regain their past ground.
Nationalists have kept themselves restricted to Qasimabad.
Pak Sar Zameen Party is asserting over the Urdu speaking voters of Latifabad and old city area. Trying to vow the peoples who were angry with the MQM leadership or those have complaints about not carrying development works.
The candidates of Muslim League Nawaz and PTI also are in run, but they do not enjoy much influence.
In city area, GDA seems not much serious. It has only one countable candidate Ayaz Latif Palijo who is contesting from Qasimabad.
The significant development about the present election campaign in Hyderabad is that PPP and JUP Norani have entered an election alliance, wherein PPP withdrew its candidate for NA 227 in favour of JUP –N, this followed the suit in PS 66 and PS 67.
PPP leader Moula Bux Chandio and head of JUP Sahabzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair formally announced at joint press conference that in NA 227 the PPP candidate Irfan Gul Magsi withdrew in favour of JUP –N candidate Sahabzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair.
Responding this move, JUP will support the PPP candidate Chaudhry Manzoor in Qusoor, Punjab. Some observer believe in this case, JUP might lose some Urdu Speaking votes. It is may be recalled the PPP candidate Irfan Gul Magsi’s sister Raheela Magsi is sitting Senator of Muslim League Nawaz.
This bargain was hammered out when Sahabzada Zubair met with PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari and both leaders agreed for this seat adjustment.
NA 225 comprising Qasimabad and Hyderabad rural taluka is witnessing contest between PPP candidate Syed Hussain Tariq Jamote and Pak Sar Zameen Party candidate Nawab Muzzafar Hussain Shah. Naheed Khan former aide of Mohtram Benazir Bhutto is vying from this constituency. The Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) has announced its support for her.
NA 227, is Hyderabad city taluka where Salahuddin (MQM), Rashid Arain (PSP), Sahabzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair (JUP-N), Karamat Ali Rajput (MMA) and Sahabzada Shabbir Hassan Ansari (PMLN) are main contestants.
Latifabad taluka has NA 226 seat, here fight is between Engineer Sabir Qaimkhani former MPA (MQM), Nawab Rashid Ali Khan from Pak Sar Zameen Party, Soulat Pasha of PMLN, Ali Muhammad Sehto from PPP and Ameer Hafiz Tahir Majeed from MMA.
In all there are 13 candidates are in run. According to analysts, the strong and real competition will be only between MQM, PPP, PSP and MMA.
At PS 62 Qasimabad, the match is between former minister of Local Bodies Jam Khan Shoro (PPP) and Ayaz Latif Palejo (GDA). The MMA candidate Azam Jahangiri has withdrawn for the favour of Ayaz Latif Palejo. The decision was taken on behest by the JUI chief Moulana Fazal ur Rehman and President of Sindh Rashid Mehmood Soomro. PTI is also supporting Ayaz Palijo.
Here problem lies, Dr Qadir Magsi of Sindh Tarqi Passand Party is also in run. Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah grand-son of G.M. Syed founder of Jeay Sindh movement- is also supporting Dr Magsi. This will divide the nationalist vote hence will affect the position of Palijo. Jam Khan Shoro (PPP) seems to be in easy position.
Tough competition is expected at PS 63, known as Tandojam area, where former minister of information Sharjeel Inaam Memon (contesting from prison under corruption charges) and media owner and the head of Tabdeeli Pasand Party Ali Qazi are main contestants. Riaz Panhwar from MMA, Atif Ali from MQM in run as well.
According to analysts, Ali Qazi is strong candidate as he also enjoys backing from GDA and PTI but PPP has strong hold as well.
Latifabad taluka and surrounding areas of Site and rural side are in PS 64. Muhammad Younas from MQM, Aijaz Shaikh from PSP, Abdul Jabbar Khan from PPP are major candidates. Redesigning of this constituency may help PPP to win this seat.
On PS 65, competition is between Nadeem Siddiqui from MQM, Raheel Qaimkhani from PSP and Saleem Arain from PPP.
On PS 66, Rashid Khilji from MQM, former senator Mukhtiar Ahmed Dhamrah from PPP, Syed Rasheed Ahmed Advocate from PSP and Abdul Waheed Qureshi from MMA are the candidates of election. Tando Wali Muhammad and adjacent areas are part of this constituency. PPP is expecting to win this seat.
On PS 67, Candidate of MQM Nasir Hussain, candidate of PPP Muhammad Sagheer Qureshi and the candidate of MMA Dr. Saif ur Rehman are major contestants.
Overall situation in Hyderabad is not clear. Different political forces are trying to fill the vacuum created due to internal crisis of MQM. PPP is poised to win three seats in second largest city of the province. Some unexpected results cannot be ruled out in Hyderabad.