KARACHI: Speakers at a meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter have urged the provincial governments to revive the local bodies system at their earliest, which has become mandatory after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
The meeting was held on Thursday evening on the theme ‘Basic civic facilities – importance and utility of local bodies’, presided over by Justice (r) Haziqul Khairi at a local hotel. Hamdard Foundation Pakistan President Sadia Rashid was also present at the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, the guest speaker, former home secretary, Sindh and ex-commissioner of Karachi, Shafique Ahmed Piracha said that local bodies system or district governments system took time to spread its roots and to become successful in a society and its success depended on the intention of those persons who were at the helm of the affairs of this system.
He said when he was the Deputy Commissioner of Larkana he saw that some feudal lords had sent their female servants to become members of local bodies on women seats instead of their wives. However, one female member, who was herself an illiterate person, forcefully demanded to make arrangements for the girls education.
We find the concept of local government in our mosques, where people of different political affiliations say their prayers under one roof and you cannot find such roof elsewhere in our society, he said adding we didn’t use mosque for the betterment of society and solutions of our problems.
He was of the view that political base of local bodies system was must and without including the political parties in this system we could not be able to make it a success, because it was the political parties that gave social and political training to the people. Justice (r) Haziqul Khairi said that this system was successfully running in most of the countries in the world, being a best source for the solution of local issues such as cleanness, drainage, supply of clean water and other basic facilities.
Azhar Abbas Hashmi said that due to the absence of true democracy, such an atmosphere was created in the country that if Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said and Abdul Sattar did not have personal courage and determination, they would have gone out of the country.
M Abul Fazal said that main reason of failure of political system in the country was feudalism, which has not been abolished yet.
Dr Rizwana Ansari said that the people wanted employment, bread, clean water and law & order that might keep them at peace. If they got these things let any system run they would not mind, she added.
Zafar Iqbal was of the opinion that a good government official was better than a mayor or nazim if people could approach him easier than mayor or nazim. If accountability prevails in the country all systems will run adequately, but political legacy is a big hindrance in the way of true democracy, he added.
Dr Shahid Hasan Siddiqui, noted economist said that the provinces were not serious in holding elections of local bodies. Before NFC Award Sindh government had allocated Rs 104 billion for the financial year of 2009-10, Rs 74 billion for 2010 -11 and Rs 37.9 billion for 2011-12 in its budgets. Looking at the figures one could easily observe that the amount was gradually and swiftly reducing year by year, showing the negligence of government about the institution of local bodies, he added.
Dr Abubakar Sheikh urged that the institution of local bodies should be an autonomous body, which could work independently and take stand on its projects. Commodore Saleed Anwar Malik, Shamim Kazmi, Anwarul Haq Siddiqui and Dr Naeem Qureshi also spoke.
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