Murtaza Wahab, the mayoral candidate of the Pakistan Peoples Party, was elected Mayor of Karachi in June. This was quite something as he became the first mayor to belong to the PPP, defeating his opponent, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman of the Jamaat-i-Islami.

The PPP had formed an alliance with the PML-N and JUI-F, while the JI had the support of the PTI. Mr Wahab secured all 173 expected votes, while Hafiz Naeem only managed to get 160 after 30 union council members abstained from the polling process. PPP’s mayor and deputy mayor candidates failed to secure a simple majority — 184 votes — in the house. However, the present Sindh local government law stipulated that any candidate who secured a majority of votes could be elected mayor even if they failed to get a simple majority in the 367-member City Council of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

Son of the late senior PPP politician Fauzia Wahab, Murtaza, a barrister, has come to rule over a city that was not too long ago considered the citadel of the MQM (which boycotted the local polls) and to a lesser extent the JI. Though 40-year-old Murtaza Wahab may have taken over the reins of the largest city in the country, he surely has his work cut out for him. An out-of-control metropolis that feeds the country cannot take care of itself mainly because of decaying infrastructure and high crime. Maybe Mayor Wahab can change that?

Opinion

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