Our politicians talk too much about strengthening democracy when out of power but don’t keep their word when in power. They seem only focused on one thing and that is their own grab on power, no matter the price.

The two main-stream political parties ruled the country off and on for a long time but could not transform their promises into action. Rather they did everything to tighten their grip on power with no concern for democracy. Real democracy is devolution of power to the lower level. This implies formation of local bodies and spending of funds through them to solve problems of citizens. Surprisingly, the closest we came to such system was during the rule of a dictator. Soon after he left, democracy struck the country in 2013 and the system was abandoned as the politicians needed funds in hands of MNAs and MPAs to strengthen their grip on power.

Finally, the SC ruled to hold the local bodies elections. Both PPP and PMLN unwilling complied after dragging their feet for a long time. The local body elections were held but not before making changes that rendered the local bodies having almost no control over development funds or corporations to do any useful work. This to my view this was total distortion of democratic system. It was not only denial of democracy, but also waste of public money.

The local government is nursery of democracy. Not granting funds to these bodies is tantamount to planting a tree so shallow and weak that it would fall with slightest gust of wind. a tree without trunk ready to fall with a gust of wind. Had these politicians followed the norm of democracy, it grown into a strong system that would benefit every citizen of the country, who are reeling with issues such as poor sanitation, lack of clean water, and upkeep of residential areas.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.