The consensus developed on critical issues like the NFC award and the 18th constitutional amendment was widely acclaimed as a great achievement of the present government. That, though, has been tainted, indeed over-shadowed by stories of the rising corruption and visible decline in standards of governance. By virtue of the two developments, the provincial governments have been delegated more power and money to manage their own affairs and have become autonomous, something they had all been struggling for since decades. But lately, many questions have been raised about their management capabilities to effectively handle these additional powers, responsibilities and workload. The present provincial governments took control under a democratic setup but there is a tendency in all regional politicians at helm in provinces to grab as much power as they possibly can, even if it is at the cost of minimizing the role of local governments. This is against the spirit of constitution. This is also creating a general sense of deprivation amongst large sections of the population, particularly in those that are demographically diverse within the ethnic majorities of their respective provinces like Seraikis in Punjab, Hazarewals in Pakhtunkhwah, Pashtoons in Balochistan and the Urban-Sindhis in Sindh. This is the main reason why demand for more provinces is gaining ground in the country. The provincial governments are unlikely to do justice to their newly acquired responsibilities unless they delegate more powers to make local government just as autonomous and strong as they are themselves. They should display more generosity of spirit and more political will to share power with the local governments just as the central government has done with them. Otherwise, they would likely be bogged down in handling petty matters and lose focus on issues like legislation, planning and development, governance & corruption, etc. In most parts of the world, the local governments are autonomous and often have full responsibility of managing police, revenue, traffic, town planning and developmental work etc, particularly in the metropolitan cities. That has generally yielded better results. This has also been demonstrated in this country by the success stories of local governments in Karachi, Hyderabad and Lahore when their local governments were given more powers to manage their civic affairs in the recent past. -ABAD AHMAD, Karachi, June 16.