ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the special committee on local bodies to finalise within the next 48 hours its recommendations regarding changes in the existing local government system in the country.
The directive was issued by Mr Khan during a meeting of the committee at the Prime Minister Office here on Tuesday. According to an official handout, the meeting attended by representatives from the four provinces deliberated upon various proposals about the local government system.
During a meeting of the federal cabinet last month, the prime minister had constituted six task forces to suggest steps to implement the government’s 100-day plan of ‘change’ and introduce reforms in different sectors, including civil services and the local government system.
The prime minister has also constituted a task force to suggest measures for implementation of the planned merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Chairs meeting to review progress of Fata merger with KP
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had announced during its election campaign and after assuming power that it planned to introduce a KP-like local government system throughout the country for better delivery of services to the masses. Opposition parties, particularly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, have opposed the move and decided to resist it.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also presided over a meeting to review the progress of merger of Fata with KP.
According to the official news agency APP, the prime minister assured the participants that the federal government would provide additional resources required for the uplift of the tribal areas, besides playing an effective role in allocation of a development package meant for the areas out of the National Finance Commission (NFC) award.
The meeting took stock of the progress on the merger of the tribal areas and different administrative and legal measures taken in this regard.
The prime minister called for ensuring the implementation of the new system aimed at merger of the tribal areas with KP while keeping in view the prevalent traditions and customs of the tribesmen. He stressed the need for consultations with the tribesmen on implementation of the new system. Employment opportunities for the youth of the areas should be ensured and no one should be made jobless as a result of the administrative measures, he said.
The prime minister said the specific quota for the tribal people in educational institutions and universities should not be affected. He called for expediting the efforts for introduction of the local government system in the tribal areas.
For consultation and seeking feedback of the tribal people with regard to the progress and prosperity of the areas, swift introduction of the local government system was a requisite, Mr Khan observed. He underscored the need for improving the conditions in the areas of health and education. The mechanism for speedy and inexpensive justice should also be evolved, he said.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem, Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, KP Governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Adviser to the PM Shahzad Arbab, federal and provincial secretaries and other officials.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018