Local government system has been in place in all four provinces of the country but it has not been empowered to resolve the problems of local people.
Speakers said this during the opening session of a four-day long capacity building workshop of local government officials of Strong Cities Network (SCN) Member Districts, organised by Individualland Pakistan (IL). Local government representatives including Mayors and councillors from Peshawar, Nowshehra and Quetta are taking part in the workshop on the identification of challenges and opportunities as members of the SCN.
Federal Minister for Postal Services, Moulana Ameer Zaman while speaking on the occasion said that the main responsibility of members of the national assembly and provincial assemblies is legislation but unfortunately they are focusing on developing projects.
in their constituencies instead of doing their main job.
“The main objective of the local government is transferring of power to the grassroots level, therefore, execution of development projects is the job of local government representatives,” Zaman said.
He said that in foreign countries people do not ask the elected representatives for the solution of their local problems and they contact their local representatives and accordingly their problems are addressed.
The minister said that due to the weak local government system, the capacity of our civil institution is worsening day by day.
“If we succeeded in empowering of local government representatives, then we will not look towards other institutions as well as non-governmental organizations for coping with problems like natural calamities”, he said.
Deputy Mayor Islamabad Zeeshan Naqvi also said, “The local government system has been set up in our country and they have been provided offices but the government has not empowered them to fulfil their responsibilities.
“Due to limited powers, local government system in Pakistan is very weak as compared to other countries”, Naqvi said, adding that because of various hurdles the local government representatives are unable to achieve the main objective of the system.
He urged the mayors and councillors of different districts who are attending the four days long workshop to make efforts for the strengthening of local government system in the country.
Jonathan David Birdwell, Head of Policy and Research Institute for Strategic Dialogue, UK and Jeffrey Hill, Director Community Engagement Office, Public Affair Section, Embassy of United State of America also spoke on the occasion.
Executive Director IL Pakistan Gulmina Bilal Ahmad said that her organization is focusing on promoting and strengthening democratic procedures and enhancing the role of citizens in governance. IL-Pakistan also works on issues like countering violence and extremism and also works very closely with the media. Our organisation has embarked on various initiatives since 2007, she said.
Reporter. Speakers call for strengthening LG system. The Nation, November 3, 2017.