Sattar and Akhtar trade barbs over anti-encroachment drive


KARACHI: Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar on Saturday exchanged heated words over Karachi’s anti-encroachment drive.

Speaking to the media after a hearing of the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), Sattar said that Akhtar was not voted into power to destroy the city in the ongoing campaign.

The former MQM-Pakistan leader said that the livelihood of daily wagers was being ruined under the garb of the aforementioned campaign.

“You [Akhtar] were made the the city’s mayor to make it flourish, not ruin it,” Sattar remarked. He went on to add that since the mayor gave the green light to the campaign, he would never be elected again.

Sattar feared that the growing unemployment as a result of the ‘destruction’ will only serve as a catalyst for a new wave of criminal activities in the city.

He asked the country’s top judge to take notice of the suffering being caused to the daily wagers. He also said that schools and homes were vacated without being given any alternative.


On the other hand, Akhtar hit out at Sattar saying, “If he claims that I’ve ruined the city, then he is responsible for ruining the MQM-P.”

“How can I respond to his questions; first he needs to tell me which party he’s a member of,” he said.

Akhtar claimed that only those shops rented by the Karachi Municipal Council had been demolished. “Residents will have to face trouble for a few days as rubble from the operation is removed,” he added.

Meanwhile, MQM-P leader Amir Khan on Saturday said Farooq Sattar is no longer part of the party and should stop using its name and flag.

Speaking to reporters, the MQM-P leader said, “We will present the Karachi case in front of the chief justice. Waseem Akhtar did a lot of work despite a lack of resources and the Constitution binds him to implement court orders. The Karachi mayor only razed encroachments on footpaths.”

The MQM-P leader further said, “Sattar is no longer a part of the party and I am not answerable for any of his statements. He should stop using the party’s name or flag.”