Saturday May 18, 2024

LG reps resent powers withdrawal

By Riffatullah
June 07, 2022

PESHAWAR: Members of the Capital Metropolitan government on Monday condemned the Local Government Amendment Bill which they said had trimmed their powers.

Wearing black armbands, the members belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Awami National Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and other political parties said that the amendment was an injustice to the people.

Chanting slogans against the government, they demanded that the powers should be restored to the local governments, which were the only platform to serve the public at the grassroots. The members announced that they would support the mayor of Peshawar in the struggle for empowerment of the local governments.

They vowed to continue efforts for restoration of the local government in its true spirit, saying that the purpose of the amendment was to deprive the people of the powers to resolve their issues at the local level.

They said that elected representatives at the local level from across the province would be approached to launch a province-wide protest against the injustice. The speakers included Imran Salarzai, Faqir Muhammad, Parvindar Singh, Wali Muhammad, Qazi Muhammad Anwar, Zahid Akhundzada, Attaullah and others.

Speaking to the members at the emergency session, Peshawar Mayor Zubair Ali said that the basic purpose of the local government was to provide services to the people at the local level.He said the strength of the local government determined the development of any country, adding development was possible only when people were given powers through their representatives at the grassroots.

The mayor urged the government to undo the amendment and return powers to the local government as empowerment of the representatives at the grassroots was the need of the hour.He said the government had pledged a strong local government in its election campaign but it failed to honour its pledge.

The mayor asked the government to accept the decision of the people as the local government would serve their electorate beyond political affiliations.Zubair Ali said that Peshawar got Capital Metropolitan status for the first time in the history of the country and the people had elected its mayor through direct vote. “The government must accept the decision and return powers to the elected representatives,” he added.

He said all the members were on the same page and would continue their struggle for the restoration of the local government system in its true form. The mayor said the government had snatched powers from the people through 23, 23A, 25 and 25A clauses in the amended act, saying the government should have made the amendment before the election. He announced that the chairmen and mayors would file a writ petition at the Peshawar High Court against the recent amendments which had deprived them of powers.The representatives also announced a boycott of the anti-polio campaigns, issuance of birth and death certificates and the closure of offices for five days.