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Democrats: local govt

Democrats: local govt

A LARGER bench of the Lahore High Court in its unanimous judgement on April 17 rightly held that the decision of the Punjab government to build a signal-free corridor in the Lahore city violates Article 140-A of the Constitution.

The 18th Amendment, inserting the above article (devolution of political, administrative and financial authority from provinces to the local governments) and the dictates of Article 2-A (adhering fully to the principle of democracy), Article 37(i) (decentralisation of governmental functions), has been persistently ignored and violated by all the federal and provincial governments for the last so many years.

According to Article 7, the local governments are one of the three components of the state structure, the others being the federal government and the provincial governments.

Delaying elections of local governments and usurping their functions amply proves the tendency of the federal and provincial governments towards totalitarianism, amounting to disobedience of the Constitution and the directives of the superior courts.

In democratic countries like England, Canada and Japan land management, roads, public transport, social welfare, police, education, property taxes, etc., in municipal limits come under the domain of elected local governments. These are called springs of democracy.

S. Feroz Shah Gilani


Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015

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