Karachi’s local bodies system almost ‘Handicapped’: MQM


KARACHI: Days after a resounding victory in the local body polls, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), who is yet to announce a name for the position, said the mayor of Karachi will have no power.


Speaking to media at party headquarters, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said the country’s largest city, Karachi, has been given an almost ‘handicapped’ local bodies system, rendering the mayor of a mega city ‘powerless’.

Rizvi was of the view that the The Sindh Local Government Act 2013 leaves Karachi’s mayor so weak that he cannot even order a cleanliness drive in the city.

“The city mayor will have to wait for a minister for the local bodies’ approval to issue salaries to his subordinates,” said the MQM leader.

The MQM leader thanked all who congratulated his party on the electoral win and vowed to serve the people of Karachi with renewed vigour and dedication.

Rizvi said the people of Karachi have trusted MQM with a ‘heavy responsibility’ by voting for party candidates in the recently concluded local body polls in Karachi.

MQM clinched 135 seats in the election for six Karachi districts, trouncing the electoral alliance of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), both of whom bagged 11 and seven seats respectively. The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) emerged the runner up in Karachi, securing 32 seats, according to unofficial results.

There are a total of 51 UCs in Karachi’s Central district; 46 in West; 37 in Korangi; 31 each in East and South and 13 in Malir district.

The party is poised to clinch the office of Karachi mayor, with the names of Wasim Akhtar, Arshad Hasan, Arshad Vohra and Arif Khan being floated as possible contenders.

In addition to the mayor and deputy mayor, the MQM is also set to grab the posts of chairmen of the district municipal corporations of four of the six districts.

Last year, provincial lawmaker Heer Soho at an event had said the LG system is flawed: “The biggest problem we face time and again is that even the sanitary system is looked over by the chief minister. Whether it is police, education, or health, the power to make decisions on these must be with the local government.”