No system of government can work efficiently without strict checks and balances. This country definitely needs to have a responsible transparent Local Body Government system restored, but it must be ensured that the corruption and almost ‘a state within a state’ situation which existed in 2003-2007 should never be allowed to raise its head again. Elected office places a burden on those who hold such offices, to hold themselves accountable to the law, and subject themselves and their projects to strict auditing, so as to prevent pilferage. Law enforcement and district Judiciary must be independent of city district government so as to prevent abuse of power.

Have we forgotten the role of city district government of Karachi in April 2007 when 6 lawyers were burnt alive, or on 12 May 2007, when Chief Justice of Pakistan could not leave Karachi International Airport and independent media was terrorized, because the city was under siege by none other than its own elected miscreants? The manner in which the federal Government property worth trillions of rupees was allowed to be illegally occupied during the tenure of Musharraf in Karachi, in spite of objections by Chief Estate Officer, by blue eyed henchmen, with connivance of sitting elected CDG office holders raises many questions and doubts, because till to date this expensive real estate remains under ‘Qabza’.

There could have been a massive generation of funds for the city, the province and federal government, if these properties were sold in public auction. Elected public office holders do not have a right to take law into their own hand, to hold hostage Chief Justice of Pakistan, or to prevent citizens of Pakistan free access to any city within the country, nor indulge in massive abuse of power and deny freedom to many who may dare to dissent with them.

RAHAT SIDDIQI,

Karachi, April 15.