Op-ed: Potential of local government hindered in Pakistan despite constitutional support

By Kajal Manshad, 7 June
Flag of Pakistan (photo credit: pixabay)
Flag of Pakistan (photo credit: pixabay)
In the current uncertain environment, it is essential to recognize the significant role that empowering local governments play in fostering a more adaptable and robust political system. Despite the existence of constitutional support for decentralization through Article 140A and Article 32, Pakistan’s local governance structure continues to be hampered by a plethora of challenges. The lack of local government creates a gap between policymakers and the public, making existing issues worse and causing people to lose interest in the current political system. It leads to a culture of dependency, where the citizens are passive receivers of top-down governance rather than being involved in bottom-up governance of being involved in making decisions that affect their own lives and the generations to come. [ . . . ] What exactly does Article 140A entail and why are provincial governments hesitant to transfer power to the local level? Article 140A of the Constitution stipulates that all governments must transfer administrative, financial and political powers from the federal to the provincial and from the provincial to the local governments. This includes maintaining the continuity of elections and devolving powers to elected individuals from non-elected ones, such as the bureaucracy. Article 32 of the Constitution guarantees the participation of marginalized groups, including women, minorities, peasants and labourers in local government elections.
Read the full article here: Pakistan Observer


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