Constitution should define role and domain of Local Governments

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From (L-R) Mr. Darren Nance, Chief Technical Advisor, SELP-UNDP Pakistan, Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director, PILDAT, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President, PILDAT, Ms. Aliona Niculita, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan

March 21; Constitution of Pakistan should be amended to clearly define role, term, role and responsibilities of the third tier of local governments in Pakistan like the role, domain and duration of national and provincial governments. Without a clear constitutional definition, the critical third tier of governance has not been made effective by provinces. The consensus emerged at a Consultative Forum organized by PILDAT in collaboration with the UNDP on the subject of Effective Local Governments at Quetta.

Speakers at the Forum included Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, Ms. Aliona Niculita, Deputy Resident Representative UNDP, Syed Ehsan Shah, Deputy Director (LGE) ECP Balochistan and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director, PILDAT. A diverse group of Balochistan MPAs, representatives of key political parties, media, academia, CSOs and youth representatives joined the forum to share their perspectives.

In her welcome remarks, Ms. Aliona Niculita said that the UNDP has been working with National and Provincial Governments to strengthen effective and accountable ’democratic governance. The consultative forum on effective local governments is an important part to strengthen the necessary third tier of local governance in Pakistan.

Earlier, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT said that with the population size of 220 million, only 1191 elected national and provincial legislators in Pakistan cannot provide a stable system of democratic governance. An effective third tier of local governance is the pressing need for Pakistan.

Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT, presented a rationale on the need for effective local government system in Pakistan as well as a comparative analysis of the current system of local governments in place across 4 provinces of Pakistan.

Balochistan MPAs joining the forum included Mr. Ahmed Nawaz, MPA and Chairperson Standing Committee on Social Welfare, Women Development, Zakat, Usher, Hajj, Minorities Affairs & Youth Affairs (BNP-M) and Ms. Shakeela Naveed Noor Qazi, MPA (BNP-M). Representatives from political parties included Dr. Kaleemullah, Former Mayor of Quetta (PMAP), Ms. Zulekha Aziz Mandokhel, President Women Wing Quetta, Balochistan, PTI, Jan Muhammad Buledi, Central Secretary General, National Party, Mr. Riaz Ahmad, Member, National Party, Mr. Waleed Bizenjo, Member CEC, National Party, Mr. Saad Baloch, Member, National Party, Mr. Abdul Jalil Baloch, Member, National Party and Mir Balach Khan, Member, BNP-M.

Academics who joined the forum included Prof. Dr. Jahangir, Assistant Professor, HoD Economics Department, University of Balochistan, Dr. Nagina Gul, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, BUITEMS, Mr. Shaukat Tareen, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Balochistan, Prof. Dr. Zaheer Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Balochistan, Mr. Sameen Khan, Director Student Affairs, BUITEMS, Mr. Paradin, Lecturer, Department of International Relations, BUITEMS, Prof. Dr. Jahanzeb Khan, Assistant Professor, Area Study Center, University of Balochistan and Mr. Wahid Khan, Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Balochistan. Many young members of 17th Youth Parliament and young students also joined the discussion forum including Ms. Hadia Ishtiaq, Mr. Imaad Durrani, Mr. Faraz Ullah, BUITEMS, Ms. Nazdana, BUITEMS, Ms. Mahzaib Baloch, BUITEMS, Mr. Muhammad Hanif, BUITEMS and Mir Dostak, University of Balochistan.

Representatives from CSOs included Mr. Allauddin Khilji, Regional Director, Aurat Foundation, Ms. Fizza Kanwal, Representative, Shade, Mr. Ishfaq Mengal, Project Officer, Aurat Foundation and Mr. Shams Ul Mulk Mandokhel, Activist, HRCP. Representatives of the UNDP who joined the forum included Mr. Zulfiqar Durrani, Head Quetta Sub-office, UNDP Pakistan, Mr. Darren Nance, Chief Technical Advisor, SELP-UNDP and Mr. Qasim Janjua, Election Team Lead, UNDP Pakistan.

Participants of the session
Syed Ehsan Shah, Deputy Director (LGE), ECP, Balochistan speaking at the session
Mr. Zulfiqar Durrani, Head Quetta Sub-office, UNDP Pakistan giving his remarks

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