Tuesday August 16, 2022

Local government

August 05, 2021

A local government is the essence of democracy. This institution provides training to future national leaders and representatives, and it caters to needs of locals in an effective manner. A truly democratic setup is based on the uninterrupted functioning of local institutions at grassroots level. Through this system of governance, local issues are resolved swiftly as representatives are familiar with the problems being faced by the people of a particular area. The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed millions of lives across the globe. The virus has also killed thousands of Pakistanis, and its fourth wave is turning out to be more dangerous and contagious. Undoubtedly, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has played a prominent role at the federal level in mitigating the spread of the virus. However, the situation could have been dealt with in an even more effective manner if there were functional local government systems at provincial levels.

Such a system would have made the government’s anti-Covid-19 drive easier and more successful. It would have enabled locally elected representatives to use their influence to inform people about the gravity of the present situation. These representatives could have also launched awareness campaigns to educate people about the benefits of following precautionary measures to fight against the virus. Also, they would have helped the government in ensuring that all areas are following lockdown restrictions and other SOPs. The ongoing vaccination campaign would have been more successful if we had strong local governments. But unfortunately, this vitally important structure is non-existent across the country. According to Article 140-A of the constitution, each province is required to establish a local government system. It is disappointing that the higher authorities have turned a blind eye to the fact that Pakistan is without a local government system.

Rahman Rasheed