The Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) has established a committee to oversee the party’s campaign for upcoming local elections in the province.
The announcement was made by PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri after a meeting on Monday.
Besides selection of candidates for various offices in local councils, the committee was assigned the task of drafting the party’s election manifesto.
Speaking to the media, Qadri said his party would prefer the educated youths in allotment of tickets for the local elections.
He said it appeared that the provincial government was not interested in devolution of powers to the local governments. He said the law on local bodies had been drafted to ensure that these would act as just an extension of the provincial government. He said members of such councils would not have any power vested in their offices. “Their job will be limited to holding receptions for provincial ministers visiting their areas,” he said. He said that if needed his party would lead a movement seeking autonomy for local governments. “I urge everyone who supports democracy in the country to demand autonomy for local governments,” he said.
Qadri said local governments had been run in the province for seven years without any mechanism to ensure accountability. He said there was no way to verify the use of funds transferred to local governments.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2015.