Syed Mustafa Kamal served as the nazim (mayor) of the cityof Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan from 2005 to 2010. Kamal has affiliations with thePakistani liberalist party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). He was featured asone of the “mayors of the moment” (along with Berlin’s Klaus Wowereit, andChongqing’s Wang Hongju) in the Foreign Policy magazine in 2008 and wasshortlisted for the World Mayor Prize in 2010. He had also served as the ITMinister for the Sindh province from 2003 to 2005.
Syed Mustafa Kamal Bio
Kamal was born on December 27, 1971 in Karachi where hestudied until his Intermediate examinations and left for Malaysia. In Malaysia,he received as Associate Diploma in Business Executive Studies. He laterreceived an MBA in Marketing from the Aberystwyth University in United Kingdom.
In 2003, Kamal became the Provincial Minister forInformation Technology for the Sindh Province of Pakistan. He held thisposition until 2005, when he was selected to become the second nazim of thecity of Karachi, succeeding Naimatullah Khan. He championed the role of IT inthe transformation of the city’s fortunes, after learning from his experiencesin the IT Ministry. He envisaged the city becoming an Asian super-hub borrowingfrom examples of Israel and its dominant regional economy. At times, Kamal hadbeen quoted as targeting development efforts on par with those of Dubai. Underhis leadership, the city administration received acclaims and accolades, bothinternally and externally, as Kamal was feted by diplomats and internal urbanpolicy-makers as a young and confident city leader.
In 2010, the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution ofPakistan asked for the abolition of post of mayors in all cities acrossPakistan and Kamal left to resume his duties as the member of the MQMCoordination Committee. Lala Fazal-ur-Rehman became the caretaker administratorof the CDGK, replacing Kamal. Syed Mustafa Kamal was awarded an honorary PhDdegree in Politics by the Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi, at itsconvocation held on the 14th of April 2010 at a ceremony held at the open airPAF Museum in Karachi.
Residents of Defence Housing Authority (DHA), a neighborhoodof Karachi, wished to pay taxes to CDGK. They even praised City government’sefforts to carry out relief operations in their area. The city government hasstarted work on 3 multistoried parking plazas two in Saddar Town and one inClifton area and these would be unique and one of its kind projects inPakistan.
Achievements and Failings
Mustafa Kamal was praised by the Supreme Court of Pakistanfor his efforts to make Karachi a megacity and to carry out relief operations.
During Kamal’s tenure as mayor Karachi was ranked as thethird least safest city in the world behind Baghdad and Kinshasa
It can be argued that many of his achievements are borrowedfrom the foundation of infrastructure laid by the previou mayor NaimatullahKhan who updated the Karachi Water supply and improved the road infrastructure.Citizens of Karachi had to endure electricity shortfalls throughout his tenure,the situation worsened consistently in his five year term as mayor leaving abigger electricity deficit then the one he inherrited. Massive protests wereheld on the streets of Karachi, this was seen as a precurser to the eventualdeparture of the MQM’s coalition partner Pervez Musharraf in the nextelections.
Foreign Policy magazine
In 2008 many Pakistani newspapers published articles claiming that foreignpolicy.com had named Karachi’s mayor, Mustafa Kamal, “the second best mayor in the world.” Foreign Policy editor Joshua Keating confirmed that reports were not true.
Return to Pakistan
After leaving pakistan in August 2013, he returned from Dubai to Karachi, Pakistan on March 3rd, 2016, accompanying Anees Kaimkhani and holding a press conference in a rented apartment on the same day at 3:00 PM.
Mustafa Kamal divided his speech into three parts as following:
Why did he leave the country in the first place?
Why has he returned now?
Now that he has returned, what will he do?
In the first two parts, he opened up about his life-long personal experiences as a prominent member of Muttahida Qaumi Movement and what made him leave the country even when he was serving as a senator at the time.
He discussed several controversies surrounding MQM, the leader Altaf Hussain and his behavior towards the party members. How members of Rabita Committee are most aware of the way Altaf Hussain operates the party under the hood.
In the last part, Mustafa Kamal disclosed the vision of a new party he is laying foundations of, the name of which is not decided yet. According to him, “Today we are laying the foundation of an organisation, you may call it a party. We are just two individuals, myself and Anees Qaimkhani.”
Talking some philosophy, he revealed the flag of his party which turned out to be the Flag of Pakistan. He got emotional talking about how the nation is divided.