Hoping for a turnaround, minorities of Karachi's neglected localities cast vote.

KARACHI -- The turnout of voters belonging to religious minorities remained low as, what is being described as an 'election settlement drama' between the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan appears to have kept Karachiites confused about the local government polls till the eleventh hour.

However, despite an unusually cold winter weather some 'diehard elders or enthusiast youngsters' left their warm homes to cast vote to elect their representatives with the expectations that they might resolve their everyday problems at the grassroots level.

Karachi's Bishop Benny Mario Travis flanked by Father Mario Rodriguez visited a polling station set up in the NVJ School, where they cast their vote.

'We voted for the Sindh government', Father Rodriguez reluctantly told Dawn, making an indirect reference to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

During interviews most of the voters in the city's neighbourhoods dominant with the Christian and Hindu population mostly voiced in the favour of the province's ruling PPP.

However, some others chose to vote for the opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, as the boycott by the city's traditionally politically dominant MQM-P created a room for the former.

Most members of the Christian and Hindu minorities live in the Katchi Abadis due to continuous negligence on the part of all political parties, including ethnic and religious parties.

Low turnout was also witnessed in the Azam Basti, Essa Nagri, Pahar Gunj and other localities.

Mehmoodabad, which is believed to be the largest ChrisAtians settlement having a total vote bank of over 180,000, was decorated with the colourful flags having pictures of candidates backed by the ruling PPP, the Muttahida Qaumi MoveAment-P, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and some independent candidates.

Under the shadow of the political banners describing the aspiring candidates as 'honest, upright and dedicated' there were unpaved streets with overflowing sewers, no streetlights and haphazardly built small houses.

Zeenat Gulzar, a female priest at the St Peter's Church in Akhtar Colony said her two sons...

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