KARACHI - The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), the electoral alliance of top religious parties of the country, is hopeful of getting positive result from Karachi in the general elections going to be held on July 25.

The MMA which is the electoral alliance of top religious parties of the country including the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Jafferia Pakistan and the Jamiat Ahle Hadith. Unlike 2002, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Samiul Huq) is not the part of alliance this time around.

It has fielded the candidates from all 21 national and 44 provincial constituencies of Karachi this time around, with a hope to win more seats than 2002. The JI provincial chief and MMA vice president Dr Mairajul Huda Siddiqui while talking to the Nation said that the sympathies of Karachiites are with the MMA and this would reflect in the polls.

He claimed that in 2002, they had won eight national assembly seats from Karachi but three of them snatched through rigging and the MMA’s candidates were declared winner only on five constituencies. “Right now, I cannot claim how many seats we are going to win but we are hopeful of getting positive result,” the JI leader said. When asked, Dr Huda said that the MMA still consider the Muttahida Qaumi Movenment (MQM) as its major opponent in the city, adding that they are approaching the people and getting good response so far. He said that the people are humiliating and making accountability of those who were elected but did not work for the public welfare.

“When there is an alliance, minor disputes can be emerged but in the MMA, workers and the leaders have good relationship with each other. The MMA did not have even a single controversy on ticket distribution at Sindh level,” Huda said when asked whether or not the JI workers agree on the alliance with the JUI-F.

The JI Sindh chief said that in interior parts of the province, they are in talks with the Grand Democratic Alliance as well as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

The political analysts consider the MMA a ‘big contender’ in Karachi’s battle ground as they believe that the MMA would give tough time to other parties. They said that the MMA had bagged five seats at the time when most part of the city was dominated by the MQM and now it would become beneficiary keeping in view that the MQM is not in position of 2002 after divorcing the founder and internal rifts. The new delimitations may also favour the electoral alliance as the number of seats is increased in district west where the MMA has more chance of winning than other parts of the city.

The alliance that was formed ahead of the general polls 2002 had managed to bag 25 per cent of Karachi’s mandate at the national level as it won five of 20 national and six of 40 provincial seats. Qari Gul Rehman had won from then NA-239, Muhammad Laiq Khan from NA-241, Abdus Sattar Afghani from NA-250, Muhammad Hussain Mehanti from NA-252 and Asadullah Bhutto from NA-253. The JUP’s Sahibzada Abul Khair also emerged victorious from Hyderabad on the MMA ticket.

The MMA had managed to get its six candidates elected for provincial assembly that included Umar Sadiq on PS- 90, Hafiz Muhammad Naeem on PS- 91, Hameedullah on PS- 94, Nasrullah Khan on PS- 116,  Muhammad Younis Barai on PS- 126, and Moulana Ahsanullah Ashraf Hazari on PS- 128. It also won a seat from Hyderabad and Jacobabad each as Abdul Rahman Rajput and Ghulam Abid Khan Sundrani were elected on the MMA ticket respectively. Besides, on the number of their lawmakers in Sindh Assembly, a woman reserved seat was also awarded to MMA’s Kalsoom Nizamani