KARACHI: The imprisoned politician and newly elected mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar will run the teeming metropolis by way of “video hyperlink” from his jail cell, his lawyer stated on Wednesday.
Waseem Akhtar, who was arrested final month on suspicion of aiding alleged militants, arrived in an armoured police car on the British-period Karachi Metropolitan Company constructing to forged his vote within the last spherical of elections that has his celebration in an unassailable lead.
Akhtar is a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Motion (MQM), which swept native elections in December, however he couldn’t take workplace due to authorized challenges that prevented members of the town council from casting their vote. MQM controls the council.
“He’ll open an workplace in jail and by way of video hyperlink he’ll conduct council periods,” Mahfooz Yar Khan, Akhtar’s lawyer, advised reporters outdoors the council constructing as his shopper voted inside.
“He can run Karachi by way of video hyperlink for 5 years.”
The election of an imprisoned politician as mayor is symbolic of the continued energy wrestle for management of Karachi, a port metropolis that’s house to twenty million individuals, the inventory trade, central financial institution, in addition to militants and gangsters.
MQM has dominated politics and commerce within the metropolis for many years, however a paramilitary crackdown on crime since 2013 has undermined its energy base.
On Tuesday, police lodged a case of treason towards MQM’s firebrand London-based mostly chief, Altaf Hussain, and sealed the social gathering’s headquarters after Hussain had incited supporters to assault the workplace of a TV channel in clashes that left one lifeless.
How Akhtar will handle to run the town is way from clear, with the courts not anticipated to launch him earlier than he possible takes oath on August 30.
MQM officers have stated they’ll ask authorities to offer him with a nicely-furnished workplace. Police will escort him to any conferences he’s allowed to attend on the surface.
Safety forces have arrested scores of MQM members within the final yr and accuse them of torture, homicide and racketeering in a bid to maintain their grip on the town. MQM denies any hyperlink to crime and accuses paramilitary forces of a collection of additional-judicial killings of its members.
Akhtar was arrested on July 19 on suspicion of sheltering and offering medical remedy to alleged militants and criminals. He additionally faces earlier fees of inciting riots.
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