The Azad Kashmir High Court Friday issued notices to top government officials for not conducting local bodies’ elections in the state for the last over 20 years.
The court directed the region’s Chief Secretary Khyzer Hayat Gondal and Secretary Local Government Muhammad Sadiq Dar to submit their responses on the issue till May 7.
The court issued the orders on a petition filed by senior lawyer Sajjad Ahmed Khan against the government for not conducting the local government (LG) elections since 1991 in the region.
The petitioner has contended that holding LG elections after every four years is the constitutional requirement in every democratic state.
Talking to the local media, Khan said that for the last 23 years the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir have been deprived of this fundamental right to elect their local representatives which is injustice and violation of the constitution.
“Through the local bodies elections people elect their representatives at union council and wards levels to get their basic problems solved,” he maintained.
Currently administrators and chairmen are running the affairs of all the local bodies across Azad Kashmir. “Nobody knows under which law they have been appointed and how they are using millions of rupees from the national exchequer,” the petitioner questioned.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2014.
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