Wasim Akhtar’s four-year term as mayor of Karachi has come to an end.
Akhtar, a member of MQM-Pakistan, took oath as mayor on August 30, 2016 at Karachi Central Jail where he was incarcerated for facilitating hate speech, involvement in the May 12 riots and abetting the treatment of terrorists, among other things. He was named in 39 cases and imprisoned after an ATC rejected his bail plea that July.
Before his release in November, then deputy mayor Arshad Vohra held the fort by assuming the mayor’s duties. Vohra was removed from the post in 2018 after he left the MQM to join former nazim Mustafa Kamal’s PSP.
As mayor, he presented three budgets for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). In 2017-18 he presented a Rs27 billion budget, in 2018-19 a Rs26 billion budget and in 2019-20 a Rs26 billion budget.
Elections will be held across the province to elect new local government representatives. The government has not set a date for them yet.
The Sindh government had shortlisted two bureaucrats for the post of Karachi administrator. The administrator is supposed to run the city until the elections are held and a new mayor is sworn in. It is expected that the administrator will be appointed today (Monday).
According to the law, the Sindh government has three months days to hold the elections from the day the mayor steps down. No preparations, however, have been made for the polls.
Four years ago, the polls were held on the directives of the Supreme Court. The administrator was running the city’s affairs as no elections were held after 2009.