Friday December 08, 2023

Grassroots democracy

January 26, 2023

Local government is regarded as one of the primary institutions of democracy, for it allows people to govern themselves at the most immediate level. One will struggle to find a functioning democracy that lacks a comprehensive local government system. Unfortunately, Pakistan has failed to develop its local government institutions. The 18th Amendment was a case of one step forward, two steps back when it comes to local governments.

While it helped devolve more power to the provinces, it gave them full authority over municipal-level governance as well. Hence, local governments remain mere proxies of the provincial government in Pakistan. They lack independence and authority, making them un-inclusive and, in many cases, un-functional. We desperately lack the flexibility and responsiveness local governments provide and this deficiency will only become more acute in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Sikandar Hayat