KARACHI - Women Action Forum censured the way the Sindh Local Government Ordinance has been unilaterally announced. In a statement issued here on Monday, the WAF said that this was how the military dictators had foisted their will on the citizens of Pakistan. Sindh government has acted most undemocratically in its promulgation of the ordinance, and had thus insulted the Sindh Assembly, where local government (its meaning, purpose and how it is to function) should be debated. Furthermore, if Sindh government is to truly demonstrate its commitment to democracy it should provide opportunities for public debates on what sort of LG is desirable, WAF said. The WAF believes the large-scale opposition to the Ordinance by political parties and civil society groups in Sindh, clearly indicates a lack of trust in the process. It is incumbent on governments to foster trust rather than ride rough shod on people. Trust will develop only through consultations and listening to what people are saying. It urges the government to table the Bill on local government for debate in the Sindh Assembly.The WAF called on all civil society groups and teaching institutions to form a working group for drafting a Bill for building a strong local government in Sindh without abrogating any constitutional right of the people of Sindh to education and health, and equal opportunities for all. It is imperative that civil society groups note that powers to be transferred to local government does not mean empowering the local elite to usurp the rights of local populations, especially the poor and the marginalised and minority groups. The WAF calls for a public debate to guarantee protection and promotion of rights of the poor within the local government.