RAWALPINDI: Elected representatives from the 46 Union Councils (UCs) of Rawalpindi have decided to unite under a single banner to speak out against the early dissolution of the local government after the provincial assembly passed a new local government law. Sources stated that union councillors, however, were not considering widespread street protests because the matter is still pending in court.
However, the elected representatives have pointed to public proclamations of Rawalpindi’s former mayor Sardar Naseem Khan to fight the case on their behalf through the legal channel. The petition against the early dissolution of the municipal system is expected to be heard by a larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) later this week.
The former mayor said that the government, which claims to safeguard the people’s rights, did not even let the elected representatives complete their tenure.
He added that their sole demand was to restore elected bodies so that they can complete their tenure and resolve the issues faced by the public.
“We have been stabbed in the back,” he added.
He further said that their tenure was supposed to run until December 2021 after which enforcement of any system would be reviewed for relevancy.
Naseem further said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led provincial government’s action had enraged elected public representatives across the province. He further claimed that all sacked representatives have united irrespective of their political affiliations.
The PTI provincial government had dissolved the 58,000 local bodies across the province after it passed a new law relating to the local government earlier in May.
The Punjab government now intends to conduct fresh local government elections within a year. Until then, 27 districts of the province will have deputy commissioners working as administrators. Nine divisions will have commissioners performing these duties.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2019.
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