Elections have once again been postponed in the capital of Sindh. Karachi is one of the largest cities in Pakistan and this is the third time that local government elections have been postponed. Earlier, the elections were postponed due to the heavy rains and flooding that the city faced. This time, the Sindh government has asked for an extension as they claim that 16,000 police officers are not on duty. With Karachi’s law and order situation, security is one of the biggest concerns and important events like elections cannot be conducted without the police or any other security agency. According to the Sindh government, the Election Commission of Pakistan asked the interior ministry for the assistance of Rangers and army personnel to handle the security situation during the elections, but the request was denied. Only a quick reaction force was offered by the ministry. In other places, like Kurram Agency, polls will be held soon. Earlier, they were postponed due to the security situation, which seems to be fine now.
Local governments are extremely important for the proper functioning of cities. This primary level of government is what the population can hold accountable and get their work done. The purpose of a local government is to create order in ways that serve the general public democratically. The goal of local government is to provide a structured system where councils can exercise their authority and fulfil their duties as a team to maintain peace, order, and effective municipal district administration. Council members are expected to contribute to enhancing the district’s social, economic, and environmental viability and sustainability as part of their duties. Additionally, they are responsible for encouraging citizens to pursue legitimate business and employment opportunities. Effective local governments guarantee the residents of their communities a high standard of living.
In Pakistan, local governments have played a greater role during military dictatorships. However, their role is not limited to that. It is extremely important to have local governments so that cities and districts can develop and use funds provided by the government in an appropriate manner. The people must be given a chance to elect these officials as soon as possible, as only then can the process of development start. Without elected representatives, the constituencies are neglected and their due rights are not given to them.
Karachi has faced mass devastation due to the floods and many areas have been completely destroyed by the natural disaster. The city needs to have representatives of the people who can become a bridge between the people and the government above. Even if the bureaucracy works fine and the government allocates an adequate budget for specific areas, if there are no elected representatives, the true needs of the people will never be fulfilled. The Sindh government and the Election Commission need to take swift action and have the polls as soon as possible. Moreover, the centre should provide security if the Sindh Police is short-staffed currently. No more excuses should be made as the city is already suffering greatly and it is time to give the people a voice.