MQM’s Waseem Akhtar sworn in as Karachi mayor
Arshad Vohra also took oath as deputy mayor of Karachi. The venue was guarded with stringent security as Akhtar arrived under law enforcers protection from prison following protection order issued by the court.
Addressing a huge crowd of people following the oath-taking ceremony Waseem Akhtar thanked the people of Karachi, party workers, PML-N, PTI and other political parties for electing and supporting him for the post of the city’s new mayor.
“Jiye (long live) Muttahida, Jiye Bhutto, Jiye Imran Khan.” Akhtar chanted a new slogan.
The MQM leader was of the view that all political parties need to solve the problems of Karachi together dedicatedly.
“It is my request to all political leaders and their parties to work collectively for the development of Karachi because Sindh can only progress if Karachi progresses,” said Akhtar.
He said even though he wanted to work for the betterment of Karachi along with other political parties but was unable to do due to his imprisonment on false charges.
Akhtar also requested Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former president Asif Zardari to support him as mayor in Karachi.
We want to discuss Karachi’s issues with Sindh Chief Minister too, and work with him side-by-side in the province, he added while thanking the provincial government.
After a short break, Akhtar started to speak again and said that he supports MQM under the supervision of Dr Farooq Sattar and there should not be any doubts that.
During the second half of his address, Dr Farooq Sattar kept on dictating Akhtar what to say.
New mayor to run city via video link?
Waseem Akhtar’s lawyer Mehfooz Yar Khan on August 24 had spoken to media and said Akhtar will open an office in jail and via video link he will conduct council sessions.
The lawyer was quoted by Reuters as saying that Waseem Akhtar could run Karachi via video link for five years.
MQM officials have said they will ask authorities to provide him with a well-furnished office. Police will escort him to any meetings he is allowed to attend outside prison.
Security forces have arrested scores of MQM members in the last year and accuse them of torture, murder and racketeering in a bid to keep their grip on the city. MQM denies any link to crime and accuses paramilitary forces of a series of extra-judicial killings of its members.
Earlier, Sindh High Court dismissed a petition of PTI leader Faisal Vawda seeking stay order against the oath taking of Karachi’s mayor-elect.
Presiding officer had called the mayor and deputy mayor for oath taking at 11:00 AM and Chairman, Deputy Chairman at 12:00 noon today.
Earlier, Sindh Police chief A.D. Khawaja had ordered police to ensure tightened security for the oath taking ceremony.
Provincial election commissioner had earlier said that the legal situation with regard to election ofWaseem Akhtar as the mayor of Karachi has been under legal scrutiny as the MQM leader faces cases in courts.
Akhtar, who has been imprisoned in Karachi Central Jail had demanded the set up of the Mayor’s office in jail so as he can perform his duties.
A division bench of Sindh High Court dismissed a petition of PTI leader Faisal Vawda, seeking court stay order against oath taking of Waseem Akhtar as mayor of Karachi. The mayor-elect facing a number of cases including May 12 massacre in Karachi, terrorism facilitation and other charges.
The bench observed that how can the court issues orders when no charges against the mayor-elect have been proved so far.