‘Continuity of local government system can help strengthen democracy: Shibli

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Syed Shibli Faraz Wednesday said that effectiveness and continuity of the local government system in the country can help strengthen democracy and resolve issues of common people.
Addressing a National Conference on Future of Local Government, held here, the federal minister said that the local bodies system is the foundation of real democracy in the country.
The minister stated that the local government system is an important component of the country’s democracy and the basic objective of today’s event was to deliberate on how to strengthen the foundation of the local government system and ensure its effectiveness and continuity.
“Local government system is a basic foundation of a country and is an internationally proven formula without which a democratic structure cannot be completed”, Shibli Faraz said.
The biggest advantage of local government representatives is that they are well aware of the local issues of their respective areas as they interact with common people on a daily basis and understand their issues as well as remedies.
He said that it has been proved during the COVID-19 pandemic that improved local bodies structure at provincial level can help a lot tackling such challenges in an effective and organized way.
Referring to his own struggle from the very basic level, Shibli Faraz said that he contested the election of District Nazim from Kohat in the year 2001 after which he realized that it was for the very first time for him to experience the problems of the local people of the area minutely.
He said that the effectiveness of this system is obvious when problems of common people at the gross root level are resolved.
He pointed out it is very unfortunate that the local government system becomes active during the eras of dictatorship but loses its effectiveness during the democratic set ups.
In view of the local government structure, the duty of Senators, MPAs and MNAs is to focus on legislation; however it is the duty of local bodies to develop roads, infrastructure and resolve basic issues of the people, he said.
It is very unfortunate that the local government structure lacks sustainability in our country.
He urged the stakeholders, universities and think tanks to analyze the failures and lack of sustainability of the local government system and come up with a strategy through which the local MNAs and MPAs could not neutralise this system.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan always remained in favour of the local bodies system.
Shibli Faraz observed that the real challenge the country is facing at this time is to make elections in the country transparent.
He said that the task of manufacturing the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was given to a new start-up company by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The EVM was manufactured according to the requirements of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
He said that the EVM would restore the confidence of masses over free and fair elections.