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Islamabad mayor resigns over ‘curtailed powers’


The Islamabad mayor has resigned from his seat citing curtailed powers, four months before the completion of his tenure.

Sheikh Anser Aziz has sent his resignation letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The letter posted on his official Twitter handle on Tuesday states, “I, Sheikh Anser Aziz, hereby resign as mayor, Metropolitan Corporation, Islamabad with immediate effect.”

The resignation was written on MCI’s letterhead dated October 1, 2020. MCI Assistant Director Syed Mohsin Shirazi confirmed the development.

Aziz also tweeted the reason behind his resignation.

“The way we have been pushed to the wall with all powers taken back by the federal government, the MCI [Metropolitan Corporation, Islamabad] can no longer serve its dearest citizens,” Aziz tweeted. “Better to quit if [I] can’t help my people. I have resigned as Mayor Islamabad.”

In his farewell tweet, Aziz said, “I am thankful to my dearest citizens of Islamabad who supported us like a family and pointed out where we were weak, appreciated us where we were strong. We all worked together to make Islamabad beautiful, clean, green, healthy and safest.”

He also stated the he had resigned after the clearance of two references against him, audits and National Accountability Bureau inquiries.

The mayor was removed from his position twice by the Local Government Commission (LGC) formed by the PTI government; however, he was restored by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Aziz was deprived of control of six important directorates, including water supply, sanitation, and environment. All of them were handed over to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) through a notification issued by the interior ministry.

The mayor had also written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 1 apprising him of the troubles he was facing. He had highlighted non-provision of funds to the MCI and alleged intervention in its affairs by the government through its local bodies’ commission.

The MCI mayor also served as the CDA Chairman for 18 months during the tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) while also working as the Islamabad mayor.

However, Aziz could not even start a single project of public welfare despite keeping two important positions. The distribution of finances remained the main issue between the elected local government and the CDA.

The mayor did not contest any elections and he was elected on the seat after being nominated by his party and through the votes of Union Councils’ (UCs) chairmen.

Political analysts view the resignation four months before the tenure as a political move to get votes in the next elections.

The Express Tribune tried contacting Aziz but he could not be reached.

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