Jail break: Waseem Akhtar takes oath as Karachi mayor

Published: August 30, 2016
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Waseem Akhtar takes oath as Karachi mayor. AN EXPRESS NEWS SCREEN GRAB

Waseem Akhtar takes oath as Karachi mayor. AN EXPRESS NEWS SCREEN GRAB

Imprisoned Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Waseem Akhtar took oath as Karachi mayor on Tuesday despite staunch opposition from rival parties.

Waseem Akhtar, a former MPA, who is being held at Karachi’s central prison was brought to Polo Ground amid high security to take his oath. The tenure of the city’s last elected mayor, Syed Mustafa Kamal, ended almost six-and-half-years ago in February, 2010.

Family members of Waseem and MQM leader Farooq Sattar were present at Karachi’s Polo Ground to attend the oath-taking ceremony of mayor and deputy mayor Karachi. MQM’s Arshad Vohra took oath as Deputy Mayor Karachi.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Commissioner Samiuddin Siddiqui administered oath to the mayor and deputy mayor.

Karachi set to be run by imprisoned mayor

Addressing the ceremony, not only did the recently elected mayor thank all institutions in the country, he opened his speech by chanting “Long live Muttahida, long live Bhutto and long live Imran Khan.”

“Despite the problems Karachi has been facing, I ensure that we will work together for the betterment of this city and the province,” Waseem said while urging Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to set aside all differences.

“I am currently in prison but all charges against me are fake,” the mayor said during the ceremony. Waseem announced his decision to fight for justice and move a bail application in court after taking oath.

Calling on diplomats and businessmen to help him, Waseem said, “I need your help to overcome the issues faced by Karachi. I will meet people from different walks of life and take guidance.”

“The city of lights has suffered already, I will not let it suffer any more,” he added.

On winning the mayoral election on August 24, Waseem said, “It will be written in history because elections have never happened like this ever before,” he added.

Waseem arrives in a police armoured vehicle. AN EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

Further, referring to how he will run the mayor’s affairs while being imprisoned, he said: “I will request the chief minister Sindh to either give me an office at the Central Jail or pass a law so that I can solve people’s issues.”

SHC rejects PTI petition to stop Waseem Akhtar from taking oath

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda’s petition to bar Waseem from taking oath as Karachi mayor, Express News reported.

“A person involved in heinous crimes cannot be allowed to become Karachi mayor, that too from prison,” Vawda told journalists.

MQM’s Arshad Vohra takes oath as Deputy Mayor. AN EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

MQM’s imprisoned Waseem Akhtar wins Karachi’s mayoral election

On Monday, two separate petitions were filed at the Supreme Court and the SHC against the MQM’s mayoral-nominee. Mohammad Shahid Ghouri filed a petition with the SC’s Karachi Registry under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, raising questions about whether a person involved in various criminal and terrorist cases should be allowed to hold the office of mayor.

Advocate Sharifuddin Pirzada said Waseem was elected mayor of Karachi on August 24 this year in the last phase of the local government elections. He stated that after being elected he would control the city of Karachi as its mayor, which is a matter of serious concern to the citizens of Karachi, who fear that a person involved in numerous terrorist cases and against whom numerous FIRs have been registered, mostly under sections six and seven of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, would now be given the reins of the metropolis.

It was also argued that since the respondent was lodged in prison following the rejection of his bail in a case against Dr Asim Hussain and has been arrested in many other cases, it was impossible for him to serve as mayor from the confines of jail. It was stated that it is commonly known that the respondent had, through his party, caused disruption in the country.

PTI files petition to stop Wasim Akhtar from taking oath

Therefore, the apex court was requested to declare the respondent unfit to be sworn in as mayor and that he cannot act as mayor till the cases are concluded. The petitioner also sought an injunction to restrain the MQM leader from taking oath of the office, scheduled to be held in a ceremony on Tuesday (today).

Waseem, a former minister and parliamentarian won the mayoral poll by a landslide with 208 of the total 294 votes cast by the city’s municipal authorities, whereas Arshad Vohra bagged 205 votes and was elected deputy mayor.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Parvez
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:48PM

    Not surprised.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:06PM

    Is this man senile, brain dead, seems he is both. Not surprised that he is still anti people, after all he earned his bread by helping all dictators to usurp our liberties and rights through out the unfortunate history. Shame on this man who lacks any conscience or morality.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:39PM

    Long live the rule of law! Down with enemies of people! Down with those who always stood with anti people dictators! Down with the demons who violate rule of law in the garb of legalities. Mayor of our city is who we the people of this city have voted and elected to be. Long live Waseem Akhter and MQM! Karachi loves you!Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:39PM

    ridiculous! Recommend

  • speedy justice
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:46PM

    Give me a break from this drama. Recommend

  • concerned
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:46PM

    What kind of law is this? An imprisoned man is allowed to run the government. Recommend

  • FarooqA
    Aug 30, 2016 - 2:56PM

    RIP… Democracy and People of PakistanRecommend

  • Concerned citizen
    Aug 30, 2016 - 3:01PM

    What I dont understand is Why MQM so badly wanted to make Waseem Akhtar Mayor?, why make a guy dealing with cases and in custody a Mayor?, is there no one better than him? or he can do a great job from jail? or same old Mohajir card telling Mohajirs look your Mayor is in jail because he is Mohahir?Recommend

  • Libra
    Aug 30, 2016 - 3:31PM

    An under trial prisoner is now mayor of the largest city of Pakistan. Speechless.Recommend

  • Haq
    Aug 30, 2016 - 3:35PM

    Just surprised at law how can criminal can be mayor of Karachi. In other countries of world criminal person can not hold government office until free by lawRecommend

  • Sana
    Aug 30, 2016 - 3:54PM

    Absurd!Recommend

  • JB
    Aug 30, 2016 - 5:49PM

    A new low for Pakistan. It used to be former prisoners holding key positions in the government, now its current prisoners!Recommend

  • Hamza
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:28PM

    O Allah! Please help us and show us right path…Recommend

  • Hamza
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:29PM

    Hmmm…
    No words…Recommend

  • Kfaisal
    Aug 30, 2016 - 7:37PM

    The will of the people is supreme. They can choose whoever they like. As long as Karachi is given step motherly treatment it’s people will choose someone from MQM. I am neither from Karachi nor a mohajir but it’s quite clear to me why the people of that city see MQM as thier saviour. Recommend

  • Niha qim
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:13PM

    Kia Mulk hai Kadi bi Othe lay rahay haiRecommend

  • Naturalist
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:27PM

    Congrats MQM Pakistan. We all should respect mandate of the people of Karachi. Recommend

  • irfan
    Aug 31, 2016 - 3:06AM

    what else we can expect from Karachi . At the end of the day we ask , why there is no peace in Karachi ? Recommend

  • need to know
    Aug 31, 2016 - 6:21AM

    Waseem Bhai by cooperating with PPP and PTI do you mean to bring down the PML-N government. If so, please refrain as the Army might takeover and then the MQM workers would have no respite.Recommend

  • Steven
    Aug 31, 2016 - 8:55AM

    No one can compete with MQM in Karachi, the mohajirs will only vote for MQM irrespective of what anyone say against them. Recommend

  • Spot On
    Aug 31, 2016 - 9:14AM

    @need to know:
    Hey, if the Army gets into power witnesses will come forth and the accused are likely to be convicted. Take care.Recommend

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