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Pakistan: Karachi up for grabs in upcoming election

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KARACHI, 12 July 2018 [Fik/News Sources]: Everyone wants a piece of Karachi -- or so it seems -- in the upcoming general election on July 25.
The bustling port city and the country's commercial capital has traditionally been a stronghold of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) -- a political party which claims to represent Mohajir -- a term coined to represent the Urdu-speaking community which migrated from India in 1947 following the end of British colonial rule and partition of the sub-continent.
The party having roots in the middle-class urban population of southern Sindh province has been ruled with an iron fist by Altaf Hussain, its self-exiled leader in London, who is both loved and feared by his supporters.
Hussain could famously strike pin-drop silence in a rally thronged by thousands of his supporters at the count of 1, 2, 3.
Not long ago, his workers could shut down Karachi, with its 15 million population, within hours after Hussain called for a strike.
However, the party currently stands divided into several factions after Hussain’s ouster last August following reportedly an anti-state speech.
Subsequently, a massive crackdown was led against the party by security forces of the country, which led to the arrests of hundreds of party workers – allegedly for involvement in terrorist activities.

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