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Govt urged to hold LG elections in tribal districts

Peshawar

March 8, 2019

BARA: The government should hold early local government elections in the erstwhile Fata to empower people at the grassroots.

This was demanded at a “roundtable conference”, which was organised by Khadimul Khalq Foundation at Bara Press Club on Thursday.

A select group of politicians, representatives of media, academia, civil society, legal fraternity, rights activists, youth, educationalists and medical professionals attended the event.

The participants of the conference urged the government to arrange early local government elections in tribal districts as this was the only way out to restore people’s confidence in the state institutions by taking them along in the political process and giving them a due say in the decision-making.

The participants demanded a decent increase in the seats allocated for the provincial assembly in the newly-merged areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while retaining the existing 12 seats for the National Assembly.

Terming the merger a welcome move, the speakers asked for a well-defined development agenda in the war-hit area to raise human development indicators and bring it on a par with the rest parts of the country.

“This will not only put the underdeveloped region on the track to progress and prosperity but also deny space to non-state actors in the region to stage a comeback. To that end, the government should allocate the promised 3 percent NFC share for the region at its earliest,” said one of the participants.

Some of the participants stressed the need for raising awareness amongst the masses about the reform process, recommending a key role for the media, political parties and civil society, to make the entire reform process a success. This, they argued, will foil the bid of the anti-reform elements to sabotage the process.

Some of the participants raised questions over the capacity of the government in spending over Rs10,000 billion as part of the 10-year socioeconomic development plan over the next 10 years. Others recommended a strong role for women and youth in the decision-making process.

Appreciating the government’s move on border management, the speakers asked for a more sophisticated system of the rule of law in the region to improve security in the once troubled region. They called for inducting the locals in the police force.

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