Local government and political battle

City Mayor Peshawar, Haji Zubair Ali has said that amendments made in the Local Governments Act were not in the public interest and were sheer injustice to the people. After a hearing at Peshawar High Court (PHC), Haji Zubair said that the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has usurped the local governments of all those rights guaranteed under Articles 37 and 140 of the Constitution of the Country. According to him, amendments in the Local Government Act are the negation of the tall claims made by the provincial government to the people. The City Mayor claimed the city government presented two budgets at the gross root level in the larger interest of the people, but the provincial government has suspended those. He also criticised the provincial government for sabotaging the recently passed budget by the metropolitan government had included various development schemes for the people of the capital.

There had been a competition between the ruling governments in the provinces and the Districts and metropolitan administrations in the country ruled by the opposing parties. Because local bodies form breeding grounds for political groups and each party intends to instate its workers in lucrative positions so both party and leaders play freely and benefit from each other positions. The PTI government and Peshawar metropolitan administration are currently in a hand-to-hand fight due to political differences, while a group of local political leaders had filed a petition against the provincial government for slashing the powers of local representatives.

Interestingly, the recent Supreme court decision regarding party-based local government election in the province had further dented the PTI government which promoted non-party election and reached the Supreme Court to get a reversal of the high court decision. The KP government perceives its sole mandate to decide and legislate on the matter. The legal and political battle between the parties has badly damaged the local institutions and political culture in the country, besides turning the megacities into hubs of garbage, mismanagement and corruption. In fact, the judiciary must segregate the politics from the administration, so the people can live a respectful life.