Prepared to fight: MQM plans to bring A game to local government polls

Prominent leaders of the party had filed nomination papers before the polls were delayed.


Our Correspondent November 13, 2013
"This is my home and I will build it, and make sure that the city gets its due share but there is a long way to go with the scrutiny of papers," MQM’s Waseem Akhtar. DESIGN: FILE

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has decided to field its prominent leaders and parliamentarians for the local bodies election - whenever they take place.

Before the election commission announced the new schedule of elections on Wednesday evening, important leaders of the party had filed nomination papers for vice-chairperson and chairperson of various union committees for the local government elections.

The party is especially focusing on its parliamentarians in both the National and the provincial assemblies who have had previous experience of being in a local body setup. Parliamentarians who have filed their nomination papers include former mayor Dr Farooq Sattar, MNA Asif Hasnain, MPA and leader of opposition in the Sindh Assembly Faisal Subzwari, MPA Khawaja Izharul Hasan. In case the parliamentarians in the provincial assembly emerge as victors, the MQM may withdraw around eight to 12 of their MPAs.



Candidates, such as former home minister Waseem Akhtar, former MNA Khushbakht Shujaat, former environment minister Sheikh Muhammad Afzal, Rabita Committee’s deputy convener Nasir Jamal have also filed their nomination papers. The candidate for the mayor for Karachi will be decided once the chairpersons have been elected. According to party sources, the favourites for the post of city mayor from their end are Waseem Akhtar, Dr Sattar, and Subzwari.

Akhtar, who was not awarded any party ticket in the last elections and therefore has no place in the assembly, is said be a top contender for the post of the city mayor. He will be submitting his form for chairperson from district East. If he is elected as mayor at the end of the elections, the most pressing situation will be the city’s law and order, said Akhtar, who has been an adviser to the chief minister on local government.

“This is my home and I will build it, and make sure that the city gets its due share,” he claimed, adding that there is a long way to go with acceptance and scrutiny of papers, which will lead to the election process. Akhtar admitted that managing the city will not be easy given the lack of resources but he will take the city on the path to development.

Meanwhile, former mayor Dr Sattar does not know if he is a serious contestant for the elections. “The party will take that decision. I’m not sure if my selection is serious.” Sattar, who is applying from PIB Colony of district East, said that if he succeeds as mayor again, he would have to consult his lawyer before leaving his National Assembly seat as the 1979 local government system is not very clear on this rule.

Where is the previous mayor?

As prominent leaders of the MQM filed their nomination papers, the last mayor of Karachi, Mustafa Kamal, also a Senator of the party was nowhere to be seen. Kamal, a popular city nazim between 2005 and 2010, has become inactive in party affairs and will not be contesting to become a mayor for the second time.

The party’s deputy convener, Nasir Jamal, said Kamal is currently in the US with his wife, who has been ill and is undergoing treatment.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th,2013.

COMMENTS (5)

Aysha M | 8 years ago | Reply

@RK: The ability to survive perpetual bias and instituted unfairness in itself is amazing political depth and acumen

Aysha M | 8 years ago | Reply

@RK: True. The ability to survive perpetual bias and instituted unfairness in itself is amazing political depth and acumen

VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read