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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Punjab govt urged to conduct local bodies elections

By Our Correspondent
April 22, 2024
This image shows a man casting his vote in the ballot box. — AFP/File
This image shows a man casting his vote in the ballot box. — AFP/File  

Islamabad:The Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SS­D­O) has urged the Punjab government to prioritise holding local government elections within its first 100 days in office.

“While ending the democratic crisis and forming a new government is a positive step, building a strong democratic system is crucial for long-term progress,” said Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director of SSDO.

“Restoring the local government system isn't just a legal obligation, it's a cornerstone of democratic governance.” In a statement issued on Sunday, SSDO argued that empowering local communities through elected representatives is essential. They proposed that instead of allocating development funds to provincial and national assembly members, the government should channel those resources directly to locally elected officials. This, they believe, would empower local people to drive their own development. “Pakistan's history demonstrates the importance of local government,” Abbas emphasised.

“Local bodies have always played a key role in effective governance, citizen participation, and delivering essential services at the grassroots level.” The organisation emphasised that restoring the local government system is not merely an administrative reform, but a strategic necessity for achieving sustainable development. SSDO called on the government to engage with civil society organizations and local leaders to develop a comprehensive plan for reviving local government. This collaborative approach, they believe, would ensure a system designed to meet the evolving needs of Pakistani citizens and contribute to long-term sustainable development.