March 24, 2017

Pakistan’s largest city to be run by jailed mayor

Waseem Akhtar has been accused of instigating city-wide riots in May 2007 and arranging medical care for wanted terrorists

Waseem Akhtar, a former MP, is set to take power as Karachi’s new mayor. He has been held for more than a month at Karachi’s central prison and is unlikely to be released in the near future, according to the Guardian.

He is reportedly accused of instigating city-wide riots in May 2007 and arranging medical care for wanted terrorists, among others.

His imprisonment is reportedly part of an increasingly fraught battle between security forces and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a political party that has dominated Karachi’s politics for decades.

MQM put Akhtar forward as its choice for mayor in December. The party’s reported overwhelming control of the council of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, which will elect a mayor from among its members on Wednesday, makes it very likely that Akhtar will be elected.

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