Waseem Akhtar becomes new Mayor of Karachi

Ahmer Rehman
Suleman Saadat

KARACHI: Waseem Akhtar was sworn in as the Mayor of Karachi on Tuesday at the Gulshan-e-Jinnah (polo ground) along with Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra. 

Akhtar was brought in for the swearing in ceremony from the Karachi Central Jail where he is being held under remand. 

After taking oath, Waseem Akhtar began his address by raising the slogan, "Long live Muttahida, Long live Bhutto, Long live Imran Khan." 

Waseem Akhtar in his address at the ceremony said he was thankful to parties who had participated in the election. He also thanked the provincial and federal government.

The city’s mayor said he would solve the problems of Karachi and a united effort would be required for this. He added that the office of mayor is not political.

Akhtar was taken back to the Karachi Central Jail under strict security after the oath-taking ceremony. 

Long Live Karachi, Long Live Sindh, Long Live Pakistan

After addressing the swearing in ceremony Waseem Akhtar on the insistence of the media addressed journalists at the Gulshan-e-Jinnah where he made it clear that it is possible to make a strategy in jail as well as an office. He stressed that he does not have differences with anyone and added that he will visit the local government minister.

Akhtar told journalists that he would support MQM-Pakistan under the supervision of Dr. Farooq Sattar. 

He ended his media talk raising slogans for the prosperity of Karachi, Sindh and Pakistan.

Waseem Akhtar had earlier made it clear that he is not the Mayor of a political party but rather the Mayor of all of Karachi and its inhabitants. 

Earlier on Tuesday, after the notification of victory was issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) the Returning Officer Samiuddin Siddiqui issued a letter to the Jail Superintendent of the Karachi Central Prison to produce Waseem Akhtar under foolproof security to take oath as Mayor of Karachi.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Faisal Vawda had moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) to stop Waseem Akhtar from taking oath and the court has approved the petition for immediate hearing. However after the hearing the SHC dismissed Vawda's petition paving the way for Waseem Akhtar to take oath as Mayor.

An armoured personnel carrier (APC) arrived at the Karachi Central Jail to transport Akhtar from the prison to the venue for oath taking a little after 12:15PM. 

The swearing in ceremony was scheduled for 11:00AM but was delayed due to last minute notifications and the PTI leaders petition before the Sindh High Court seeking to stop Akhtar from being sworn in.