The devastating rain experienced in Karachi last Thursday has left city residents both shocked and disgusted. Shocked, because no one had witnessed that much downpour in a long time, and disgusted, because no one, literally no one, came to their rescue.
Their houses were drowned, most of their household items turned faulty or destroyed, vehicles were damaged, and above all, around 40 plus citizens of the metropolis lost their lives in the showers and their aftermath.
Those who were at their offices got stuck there and had to spend the night at workplaces, whereas those who tried reaching their homes had to bear the pain of walking miles through waist-deep water throughout the night.
While Karachites were going through this natural calamity and the aftermath, their leadership was missing from the scene. They did not even seem interested in appearing among their electorates — consoling them for their losses and the torment they had been through.
The leaders’ insensitivity towards Karachi’s citizenry during the last four days will not bode well for them and for their politics in the long term. The following are the three political forces who will face the brunt of Karachiwalas anger in the future for their apathy during recent torrential rains.
Missing in Action: PM Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan, an elected member from Karachi — and leader of the party for whom Karachites had voted for in huge numbers in the 2018 elections — was missing from the scene when he was needed the most.
PM Imran only took to Twitter to issue statements regarding what the federal govt ‘will be’ doing to resolve the issues of the citizens. President Arif Alvi, as well as federal ministers Faisal Vawda and Ali Zaidi, all elected from the metropolis, did not seem interested in solving the issues of their most loyal electorates.
Karachites not only got submerged in rainwater over the weekend but also had to go through the nightmare of a power failure of up to 72 to 90 hours, with K Electric stressing that they would only restore power when rainwater was get drained from the city.
The question is, where was the PM and his energy minister Omar Ayub?
With all the ruckus, one can easily presume that PTI and Imran Khan’s political fortune in the city will be very vulnerable from now on, and he has to, on an immediate basis, rush to Sindh’s capital to pacify his very dejected and angry electorate.
Bilawal Bhutto: Present on Twitter, but not on the ground
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, who was also very much present on Twitter during the whole rain tragedy, never dared to venture out from his fortress-like abode – Bilawal House – to get first-hand knowledge of the devastation caused by rain and to show his compassion for the city which his party rules.
Even PPP’s stronghold in Karachi, Malir, faced the wrath of rainwater, and for several hours, there wasn’t any govt person to rescue residents.
Although, CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah and some Sindh ministers did some work during the whole rain emergency — their Chairman, who aspires to get elected from the city — never showed up.
Another major thing which will not go Bilawal’s way is that people are furious that despite 12 years of rule in the province, PPP hasn’t even delivered a proper water drainage system to the megapolis of Pakistan.
With this shoddy performance, Bilawal’s aim to grab a seat from Karachi in the next election seems near to impossible. Even PPP’s political fortune in the city is in the doldrums.
MQM-Pakistan: Demonstrating aloofness
Once the most formidable political force of the metropolis and the second-largest elected party seemed aloof and lost for actions during torrential rains. Their leaders remained holed up in their houses while issuing statements after statements, without translating them into actions.
People are angry with MQM-Pakistan because, just recently, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar has ended his four-year tenure, without doing anything productive for the city.
MQM’s political stature got battered in the last elections by PTI, and after this pathetic performance during recent rains and destruction it brought to Karachi — their political fortune in the metropolis seems bleak.
The author is the former Senior Executive Producer Programming Geo News, with core interest in politics, media, and human rights issues. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.