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KARACHI: City Mayor Wasim Akhtar, also a central leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, said on Saturday that his party had no other option but to make a deal with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) as the people had tested the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party.

He was talking to media persons at the head office of the Karachi Metropolitan Corpora­tion.

The mayor said that the governments of the two major political parties miserably failed to address the issues in Karachi — the financial hub of the country that generated 95 per cent revenue for the province and 65pc for the Centre.

“The problems of the city are no more a political issue, rather it has now become a human issue,” he said, adding that no political party or institution seemed interested in solving the problems faced by people of the city.

The MQM-P wants recounting on eight NA and 16 PA seats in the city

The mayor said that the issues of Karachi were now beyond politics. “The country is heading to a disaster therefore all political parties and organisations must think about Karachi’s problems,” he added.

Mr Akhtar said that the federal government should improve the situation in Karachi and Sindh specially those issues related to local government and make the municipal governments powerful.

Read: MQM politics — here we go again

“I am playing the role of a bridge between the provincial and the federal government,” he said.

To a question, the MQM-P leader said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed with PTI for the solution of problems faced by the people of the city.

However, he said, some modalities were yet to be finalised with the PTI.

“We will take all members of the MQM-P’s coordination committee into confidence on this,” he said.

He said that the situation in Karachi and the rest of Sindh was horrible with no clean drinking water, proper sewerage system, proper transport system, health and education facilities.

“In such serious conditions we went to sit with PTI chairman Imran Khan and put up our issues in writing,” Mr Akhtar said.

Mr Akhtar rejected the results of the July 25 general election in Karachi and said his party was not satisfied with them. “We do have reservations over the election results and want recounting in eight National Assembly seats and 16 Sindh Assembly seats,” he said.

The mayor said that the elections were rigged in a manner that there was hardly any need to constitute any committee or commission to probe the matter as ballot papers were found in garbage dumps and schools in different parts of the city.

He alleged that there was a massive “pre-poll” rigging and added that the MQM-P had also held a protest against rigging in front of the provincial election commission.

Referring to dolphin, the election symbol of Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party, Mr Akhtar said that people in Karachi and Pakistan saw what happened to the “innocent fish” in the elections. “Now they [PSP leaders] are again telling the people who joined them to prepare for the local government elections,” he added.

The mayor said that his party was facing a crisis as several party workers were either in prison or missing.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2018