Our system of district administration is not a product of the colonial era but rather it had evolved a long time ago, when the idea of the city-state first shaped up in the Sub-Continent. The magistracy is the chief of this system, however, from a legal point of view, currently, there is no magistracy in district administration. When the judiciary was fully separated from the executive in 1977 through the Law Reforms Act, the task left for a Magistrate was to enforce some eight hundred local and special laws which include price control, regulating encroachment, dealing with protesters etc. This new development in district management promised swift and just public service.

Nevertheless, in 2001, the executive magistracy was abolished and Magistrates or Commissioners were replaced by Coordinating officers, whose task was now merely to keep the coordination between different offices in their respective districts. This hindered the enforcement of that eight hundred local and special laws and created legal obstacles for the public on local issues.

Even so, in 2011, the office of the Magistrate was brought back, ceasing the office of Coordinating officers, but still, the Magistrate did not yet have the legal authority of imposing that eight hundred local and special laws. The government, recently, passed a bill in the National Assembly trying to restore the executive magistracy but afterwards, there has been no development on this matter. The government should quickly carry out the legal process for re-establishing the executive magistracy so that our system of district administration is stabilised and the public is benefited.


Peshawar, May 11.