KARACHI (MAMOSA Report): Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) candidate for mega city’s mayor, Waseem Akhtar, said on Friday upon return from London that he and his team will work with rivals for the city’s betterment.
“In the interest of the people living in Karachi, we will set aside all differences and work with the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Jamaat-e-Islami,” said Akhtar who is poised to become the Mayor of the city that is the commercial engine of Pakistan.
The MQM leader was greeted by zealous workers and showered with rose petals at the Karachi airport and again upon reaching the party’s headquarters, Nine Zero. MNA and the party’s newly appointed senior deputy convener, Dr Farooq Sattar, accompanied him.
“MQM has faced difficult times and suffered brutalities but we have always remained tolerant and steadfast,” said Akhtar. He added that after taking oath, elected representatives will be seen working day and night to sort out the city’s myriad issues. He explained that the elected representatives will work for everyone equally, including those who did not vote for the party in the local government elections.
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The party’s nominee for deputy mayor, Engr. Arshad Vohra, said they will start a legal campaign to get the mayor’s rights back. “If we are not given power through the court or Sindh Assembly, we will come on to the streets to demand justice,” he stated.
Sattar said Karachi is central to the country, if it runs well, only then will the country run well. “The mayor doesn’t have any powers, but even without the resources and authority, we will try to develop Karachi,” he claimed.
Last week, MQM garnered maximum votes in the local bodies elections and grabbed 134 of 209 union committees (UCs), according to unofficial results.
Addressing a press conference at Lal Qila Ground after the victory, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that the party had rejected the 2013 local government system because the elected mayors of cities in Sindh have no powers under it.
“We had opposed it in the assembly, but were unable to have it removed,” Rizvi said. According to him, it is a black law that empowers the bureaucracy and weakens the local government system, and the major reason behind the imposition of such a law is to retain provincial control over departments of local government.
DAWN reports: Rangers’ powers: ‘Will side with institutions if democracy endangered’, says MQM’s Waseem Akhtar
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) mayoral candidate for Karachi Waseem Akhtar, while referring to the issue of extension of the Rangers’ stay in Sindh, said he would side with democratic institutions if the situation turned to one where democracy was endangered.
While the MQM has reservations over the Rangers’ operation, he said during an interview with BBC Urdu, those concerns have been delivered to those in the relevant corridors of power.
He said the Karachi operation, which was a demand of the MQM, should not solely be restricted to Karachi.
The MQM leader was reluctant to talk about the Rangers’ notice against him, saying that he did not want to look at the past, but is eager to focus on his new responsibilities.
When quizzed about his plan for Karachi, Akhtar said, “Before initiating any development and welfare activities, I have to struggle for acquiring the budget and powers for the LG institutions,” adding that resolving the water shortage issue and restoring cleanliness were his top priorities.
He called for the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Anwar Zaheer Jamali to take action under Article 140 A of the Constitution and devolve powers to local government (LG) bodies.
He said the Article categorically stated that powers should be transferred to the grass roots level, and was of the opinion that the apex court, which had ordered that LG polls be held, should now ensure the transfer of powers to the newly elected local bodies.
He said the MQM would raise the demands of elected forums in the country and would approach judiciary if they remained unheard at political platforms. He also indicated the party would approach masses if the judiciary failed to deliver them their due powers.