LAHORE - Speakers at a seminar have stressed the need for  holding local bodies’ elections as per the Apex Court verdict for strengthening of the democracy and participation of the masses in the process of governance.

Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan arranged the seminar on Democracy and Local Bodies: prevailing situation and possibilities on Saturday.

Addressing the participants, Justice (r) Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar said that a specific ruling class was not allowing the real representatives to contest and win elections. She said that the masses have no direct access with the people sitting in the parliament that was creating problems at the grass root level. She said that the ruling elite was continuously ignoring the youth but the time would soon come that the neglected class would bring a real democratic revolution through vote. She said that local bodies were necessary for resolving the problems of the masses and putting the country on the path of development and progress.

Dr Ijaz Butt said that people sitting in the National and Provincial assemblies were major hurdles in holding local bodies elections as they did not want sharing of power with the masses. He said that local bodies were essential for bringing real democracy in the country.

Senior journalist Dilawar Chaudhry said that the provincial governments were not serious in holding local bodies elections as they did not want power sharing. He said that all the provinces wanted to utilize funds of local bodies at their own. He said that local bodies not only ensure resolving problems of the masses at doorsteps but also groom future parliamentarians.

Taseer Mustafa said that the democracy in Pakistan has no room for participation of people at large in the process of governance. He said that the prevailing system has failed to resolve the problems of the masses.

Saif-ur-Rehman said that local bodies were essential part of democratic system as it provided people an opportunity to get power and resolve their problems at local level.

Absar Abdul Ali said that the federal and provincial governments were using delaying tactics in holding local bodies elections to deprive people of the benefits of power sharing and resolution of problems at local level.