Jail break: Waseem Akhtar takes oath as Karachi mayor598 views
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) imprisoned leader Waseem Akhtar took oath as Karachi mayor on Tuesday.
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.
Waseem, who was arrested last month on charges of aiding alleged terrorists and the May 12, 2007 massacre, arrived in a police armoured vehicle at the Polo Ground to attend the ceremony. 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.
On 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.
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.
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.