Nazims or Magistrates?
Gilani says local govts illegal, unconstitutional
ISLAMABAD: Defending the provinces’ demand for wrapping up the local governments, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday that the decision to replace the 150-year-old magistracy system with the local bodies was ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. ‘Former president Pervez Musharraf’s decision to make local governments a federal subject under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution was illegal and undemocratic,’ he told reporters after attending a function at the ministry of science and technology…
…The five-year tenure of the local government will expire in October and there is a strong possibility that no more LG polls will be held and the old magistracy system will come back…
…The government, he said, was taking tough and unpopular decisions to save the country from difficult situation. ‘I would not say that the government is taking popular decisions. We have to put the country on right track. We are democratic people. We have faced imprisonment not for becoming the prime minister but for the rights of the people,’ he said.
It seems like we are headed back to the old draconian system of having magisterial fiefdoms. Whereas the local government gives us the advantage of choosing representatives from our own area, the magistracy system is based on having somebody appointed over you who may not even be from your area. He will not be sincere to the region, will not know its problems well, and will have a tendency to rule with an upper hand like his personal jagir – which basically gives him power over anyone else – to use and abuse as he likes without question.
Which system do you prefer? I personally have a clear preference for the local governments system; primarily because its more democratic, more modern, ensures that the person running your government is answerable to you rather than being your boss, and because it gets results. The magistracy system leads nowhere. What do you have to say? Let your voices be heard – because YOU should make such key decisions in a real democracy.