Karachi at night, Shutterstock
An overwhelming majority have voted in favour of the formation of an empowered metropolitan government to resolve problems of Karachi. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Karachi: An overwhelming majority of people who took part in a privately held referendum in Karachi have voted in favour of the formation of an empowered metropolitan government to resolve problems of the provincial capital as like any other modern metropolis.

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) organized the referendum under its campaign to secure the due civic rights of people of Karachi. Balloting for the referendum was held both through actual and online voting.

The voting for the referendum was held continuously for six days as ballot boxes for the purpose were placed at a number of spots in the city.

The JI constituted a 13-member independent commission comprising of renowned people of the city from different walks of life to oversee the entire conduct of the referendum.

Up to 77.4 per cent votes were cast in the referendum out of 9.5 million ballot papers issued for the purpose of actual voting for the referendum. Out of these participants of the actual voting, 98.6 per cent voted in “Yes” while responding to the questions framed for the polling. Around 8,50,000 voters participated in the online voting for the referendum as out of them up to 99 per cent voters voted in “Yes”.

Ending of quota system

The voters voted in favour of these demands: Formation of an empowered metropolitan government in the city, ending of quota system in government jobs that discriminate against youth of the city, holding again of census to properly count population of Karachi, and provision of facilities of public transportation, solid waste management, drainage, education, and health in the city in accordance with the international standards.

The people also voted in the favour of the demand to conduct forensic audit of the privatized power utility of Karachi the “K-Electric” to ascertain its performance during the past 15 years. They also demanded that government jobs should be provided to the educated and eligible youth of the city.

JI Karachi leader Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman said that results of the referendum had clearly shown that the people of Karachi were on the same page to resolve pressing civic issues of the city as there was no ethnic or any other divide among them.

He expressed gratitude to people of Karachi for participating in such massive number in the referendum as the JI would shortly announce its future line of action to secure the due civic rights of people of the city.

He said that JI’s drive to resolve problems of Karachi had been strengthened on the basis of this opinion poll.