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Waseem Akhtar MQM gets bail in two more cases

KARACHI, (DNA) : An Anti-terrorism court granted bail to Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar in two more cases against a surety bond of Rs100,000 each.

There were 39 cases filed against the mayor in different cases including May 12 riots and facilitating hate speech.

An ATC on Thursday granted bail to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan leader in four cases pertaining to May 12, 2007 tragedy.

As for now he has been granted bail in 38 cases, and he needs to get bail in one more case to get out of prison.

Waseem Akhtar was arrested on July 19 on suspicion of sheltering and providing medical treatment to alleged militants and criminals. He also faces charges of inciting riots.

He was elected the mayor of Karachi in August and has been running his office from jail.

Akhtar has said repeatedly in the past that he should be granted bail in the interest of Karachi.

“If you think I have done something wrong, I should be granted opportunity for bail. I have appealed to both Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justice Sindh High Court,” he told at ATC in September, where he appeared in connection with charges pertaining to the May 12 carnage.

Karachi’s new mayor also thanked the citizens of Karachi, his own party members, and members of the PPP, PML-N, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami, who participated in the election.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Commissioner Samiuddin Siddiqui administered oath to the mayor and deputy mayor.

Akhtar is among four mayors and 200 chairmen of as many municipal bodies across Sindh who took oath of their offices today.

That Akhtar would be able to take his oath remained uncertain even in the hours before the ceremony as his attendance depended on a production order allowing him to do so.

District and Sessions Judge (South) Imdad Hussain Khoso withdrew an order he had issued on Monday in this regard as he did not have clearance from the Sindh High Court to administer oath at the ceremony.

Almost immediately, a returning officer for the KMC then requested jail authorities to produce the jailed mayor-elect and arrange security so he could attend the oath-taking ceremony.

Akhtar is the first person in the country to have won the mayoral election from prison with a comfortable margin against his rival candidate pitted by a six-party alliance formed to contest against the the MQM.

The MQM leader has been in prison since July 19 after an Anti-Terrorism Court dismissed his pre-arrest interim application in a case for treatment of terrorists, will run the metropolis via “video link” from his prison cell.

“There were many hurdles. We are taking oath today, after nine months [whereas] London’s new mayor assumed office in just four hours.””On the lighter side,” he quipped, “It is almost as if this was a cesarean child. It was not a normal delivery. Let’s hope for the best.”

After stepping away from the mic, Akhtar once again took to the podium to express support for the MQM and Farooq Sattar. “We will work together for Karachi and Sindh,” he said.

His statement comes just days after Sattar announced the MQM was dissociating itself from party chief Altaf Hussain and the London office following Hussain’s anti-Pakistan speech which sparked violent protests in Karachi.”We have to set aside our differences,” Akhtar said, addressing PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Zardari.

“After eight years, Karachi has a mayor, a deputy mayor, a chairman and a vice chairman. We will have to work together for the betterment of this city and this province.”

 Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) candidate Waseem Akhtar bagged Karachi s mayorship whereas Arshad Vohra was elected Deputy Mayor Karachi according to unofficial, inconclusive results.

While addressing to the media, newly elected Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar thanked the people of Karachi for electing him as their mayor. He stated that whatever happened in the past needs to be forgotten, adding that the provincial government and Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah also deserve to be congratulated.

“I thank the people of Karachi for supporting me in tough times,” Akhtar said. He also criticised his political rivals and stated that he was being treated as a politcal prisoner and that the cases registered against him were nothing but lies. He said that he did not want to bring up conflicts related to the past.

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