Pakistan Local Bodies: Provincial Governments or Bottleneck

By Sanna

SannaAre we having democratic governments in our provinces? No matter what ever the situation is. A democratic government should provide services to its masses on door steps through the elected local bodies governments.

Though Pakistan cash the value and electioneering of Local Bodies Governments in international forums and on government officials visit abroad; the system and governments are not empowered. Though Pakistan is having federal and provincial governments came through adult franchise; never follow the principles of democracy, in provision of resources through local governments.

The supreme court, social organizations, secular and democratic voices pushed provinces to directly elect the local governments from public; but these governments are not having the teeth to solve public issues; the way they were vowed to be.

I remember how Pakistan based democratic parties decorated their general elections manifestos with attractive slogans; one of them and most important was “local governance”. As usual the slogans remained mere a way to dodge the public and get their votes for five year term; then never ask about their services and needs.

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Pakistan has become the nation having more than 65% of its population made up of youths (presented in a conference held in Islamabad). And the newly emerging political party of Imran Khan was published through electronic and print media to be having majority of its vote from the age group of youths. And its leader himself didn’t left any chance to praise youths for their struggle joining his voice at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Imran Khan’s led political party.

Though Imran Khan’s PTI had a greater share for general election tickets; from whom very few got seats and succeeded to parliament, senate and provincial assembly. Rest of them remained to be elected in a delayed local electioneering process.

Now; as the said party is ruling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and has majority districts in locally elected governments is not willing to share resources division and services provision to public through a transparent way on locally elected youths hands, shows the failure of political system practice in Pakistan.

Not alone Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab governments are in top lists for not providing power and resources to the locally elected governments.

Balochistan having majority seats from PMLN, the Premier Nawaz Sharif led party in coalition with the Pakhtun and Baloch nationalists of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party led by Mahmood Khan Achakzai and the National Party (Baloch) led by Senator Hasil Khan Bezinjo were no doubt the first to elect local governments in December 2014. And were praised by International Community and EU countries through letters of appreciation and fulfilling democratic rules. But till the date; the capital city (Quetta) metropolitan mayor Dr. Kalimullah Khan has made it clear through his press conferences that like him Balochistan local governments are not functioning the way they were in even Gen: Musharaf (dictating era).

Recently came to know the energetic elected youths in a leadership management skills training held in Bannu University, I am damn sure the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (as well as other provinces) government can go to develop if it utilizes the energies of these youths.

In a general view none of the locally elected leadership from Metropolitan city Mayors to an ordinary youth council member at Union Council or Village Council level are given the power and authority, remaining active for his/her constituency’s services provision at their door steps e.g health, education, sanitation, drainage, pure drinking water et cetra.

We have space in constitution for Local Bodies and it’s a well known system across the developed world (particularly in the West and is 2nd tire of democracy); why still we don’t practice it in its true spirit in Pakistan? May be the federal and provincial government doesn’t want to loose their values as authoritarians. No doubt MNAs Senators and MPAs are elected for the purpose of legislation only.

Here in Pakistan these respected MNAs Senators and MPAs who are untiringly explains democracy a principle of their life and party follow dead Gen: Zia and instead of working on legislation our MNAs Senators and MPAs are busy in inaugurating water pumps, visiting school examination halls, asking health of patients in hospitals and giving directives to hospital administration to keep services around MNA, Senator, and MPA’s good voter health. And never letting their own party members and local leaders do these jobs.

Because they (MNAs Senators MPAs) are afraid of the youth lot; next time public would elect a more energetic youth in spite of voting for an aged and looking tired Baba/Dadaji. What a non-sense…

By Sanna Ejaz

The writer is a Chairperson Gandhara Center for Peace and Cultural Education. She blogs at

https://sanamalalay.wordpress.com/

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 THE PASHTUN TIMES

One comment

  1. Dr khurshid Alam

    Ms. Sana Ejaz has written a wonderful article about L.G. She is young and has not seen the era of the rulers before. To us, it is not unusual. First, wrong was, to put the horse behind the “tanga”, In any democracy, the L.B election is held prior to the general elections, to free LB from political interference. Even the budget for local governance is announced before the general elections. Ayub introduced basic democracy to poison the roots. Musharraf devolved corruption to the roots, not the power. The same is true about present rulers. Have you ever heard that lawmakers are given millions in the name of developmental funds? It is to secure his/her seat. Corruption is cash injected into the party roots. Anyway, Muslims don’t believe in devolving power historically.

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