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President hails local government system for resource distribution, power devolution

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Wednesday said the local government was an effective governance system providing for devolution of power and resources besides featuring easy access to the public.

While addressing the concluding session of the two-day National Conference 2021 on Local Democracy: Moving Forward, the president said that as per the Constitution, the local government was a provincial subject.

The president said the Constitution had mention of local government system for around 22 times; however, binding the provinces to set up the system and the state had a role to encourage.

The president said since its inception, the Country had witnessed an old struggle of power and resources as every government tried to achieve the maximum of both.

President Arif Alvi said giving a historic account of the local government system, he said Ayub Khan had introduced the BD system to serve his own vested interests.

The president said the local government system existed even some 3000-4000 years ago as the evidence of communal living had been found in Moenjodaro remains making Indus civilization the only one to have such an organized system including planned roads, sewerage, and even toilets.

The president said though the local government was a devolved subject; however, it was essential to implement it in accordance with the constitutional spirit for resolution of public issues without any hassle.

President Arif Alvi, who earlier distributed souvenirs among the heads of local councils associations, told the gathering of elected local government representatives to identify the problems, learn from past mistakes, carry out future planning and ensure effective implementation.

Referring to Islamic history, the president said whenever the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) assigned some responsibility to anyone, he strictly advised him to keep up public contact, adjust the living standard as per the people to know their problems.

The president said the local government system featured 5Ds including devolution of power, distribution of resources, diffusion of authority, deconcentration of management, and decentralization of service cadre.

The Head of Operations of the European Union Ovidiu Mic said the EU highly valued the local government system as citizen’s participation in democracy and decision making would bring about effective governance.

Ovidiu Mic said being close to people, the local government was also a catalyst to development.

The Chairman Local Councils Association of Punjab Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry, the President Association for Development of Local Governments in Pakistan Rajan Sultan Pirzada, and the President of Local Councils Association of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Himayatullah Mayar also addressed the gathering.

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