PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Minister for Information and Inter-Provincial Coordination, Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said, indeed the local government system was the best system and it should be there at all costs.

He added that the provincial government was ready to hold the local bodies elections in October or November of this year. This he said while addressing the launching ceremony of Social Audit of Local Governance and Delivery of Public Services 2011-12 in a local hotel at Peshawar on Monday. The social audit was carried out by the UNDP in collaboration with the universities of Pakistan across the country. The ceremony was also addressed by the Azhar Saeed Malik of UNDP and Dr Mohsin of I.M. Sciences Peshawar. The Minister on this occasion was informed salient features of the social audit in detail.

The Information Minister continued that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province of the country, which passed the Local Government act and now the upcoming local bodies elections would be held under the said Act on the party basis. He further said that after the local bodies elections, the old magistracy system would replace the existing one.

He while terming the 18th constitutional amendment a silent revolution, said that it had not only transferred the authority to the provinces but also the responsibility and now it was up to them to make best use of it in the supreme interest of the province.

Earlier, addressing the oath taking ceremony of Haripur Press Club, the Information Minister praised the efforts of Information Department and office-bearers of Abbottabad Press Club who united the office bearers of Hariput Press Club and bring them at one platform after 17 years of differences. He while announcing construction of building for Haripur Press Club, media colony and a grant of Rs 5 lakh, said that he never supported a particular group in his tenure in any part of the province but always stressed upon the unity of the journalist community.

Mian Iftikhar while referring to the Hazara situation asserted that Hazara was the part and parcel of their province and they never considered it a separate part but always gave love and affection to the people of Hazara by hearts. He said that some disgruntled elements intentionally deteriorated the peaceful atmosphere of Hazara division for their personal interests. He added that demand for separate province was the right of the people of Hazara but they should adopt a legal and constitutional way for it. He declared that closing of businesses, blocking of roads or committing terrorist activities in the name of separate province in any part of the province were intolerable.

The Minister for Higher Education Qazi Muhammad Asad also addressed on the occasion and announced Rs 1.5 million for the Haripur Press Club. Secretary Information Azmat Hanif Orakzai and Director Information Shuaibuddin were also present.