PESHAWAR – Activists of civil society have expressed concerns over unnecessary delay in holding of local government elections and bringing in place a representative local government system under the Local Government Act 2012 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Addressing a seminar titled “Local Government election and Local Government Act 2012 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” organised by Rural Development Policy Institute (RDPI) and Citizens’ Rights and Sustainable Development (CRSD) here at Peshawar Press Club. Prominent social workers Idrees Kamal, Arshad Haroon, Zar Ali Khan, Azhar Lashari and Afzal Shinwari were present on the occasion. They said that following the end of last local government’s tenure in 2009, a new interim local government system was established in all four provinces, including KPK.

They said that under 18th Constitutional Amendment 2010, the federal government authorised the provincial governments to legislate on whatever local government system suits their respective provincial conditions best.

They further said that in April 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered all the provincial governments to honor the command of the Constitution as enshrined in the 18th Amendment and immediately announce schedules for local bodies’ elections.

They added that against the backdrop of the 18th Amendment and SC ruling, the Local Government Khyber Paktunkhwa Act 2012 was enacted in June 2012, however, the rules of business the schedule of local government election in the province has not been announced.

They informed that the interim local government system, which is presently in place, has shrunk the spaces for active agency of people to participate in public affairs and hold the government to account.

They demanded of the to thoroughly review the local government laws to address the concerns of civil society beside government should also wider public debate involving wider sections of society and make their contributions for improving the new law. They also demanded local government election on new reformed laws