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EditorialPlaying games with Islamabad polls

Playing games with Islamabad polls

It is imperative for Islamabad to have its own network of local governments because local governments play a crucial role in the everyday lives of people. The delay in the elections has had serious implications for the proper functioning of the local government. There is no elected representative at the local level who can take decisions on behalf of citizens or address their grievances. Moreover, there is no mechanism for proper budgeting and planning for development projects as well as other civic amenities such as roads and sanitation. They are responsible for providing a range of services and facilities that are essential to the well-being of their communities. The provision of basic public services such as clean water, sanitation, and waste management falls under the jurisdiction of local governments. Moreover, they build and maintain local infrastructure, provide basic health services, and promote economic development. Protect the environment, provide social services, and administer land use and zoning regulations. They also serve as the primary point of contact between the community and the state or federal government; local governments are able to address the unique needs and concerns of their constituents in a way that is responsive and efficient. They also serve as a key link between the community and the broader political system, ensuring that the voices of local residents are heard at all levels of government.

According to recent news, the Islamabad local government elections will be held within a week. The Election Commission of Pakistan, as per the law, is supposed to hold elections within three months of the expiration date of the local government’s term. The term expired on February 14th, 2021. In a month, it will be two years since there was an elected local governing body in the federal capital. Recently, both the Parliament and the Senate passed a bill to increase the number of union councils in Islamabad. Only the president’s ascent was necessary for the bill to pass. However, President Arif Alvi refused to sign the bill, stating that this would further delay the process of local government elections in the federal capital.

The citizens of Islamabad have expressed their dissatisfaction over this situation and have urged the federal government and the courts to resolve this issue at the earliest. They have demanded that all legal issues be sorted out so that elections can be held soon and they can elect their representatives, who can take decisions on their behalf. It is hoped that necessary steps will be taken to resolve this issue so that local government elections can be held soon and democracy can prevail at the grassroots level in Islamabad.

While the federal and provincial governments work at the macro level of policy-making and implementation, it is the local government that answers the grievances of the citizens. Therefore, it is crucial for the elections to take place. The federal government and the courts must not delay this any further, as that would only mean delays in the proper functioning of the city.

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