LAHORE: Speakers at a convention “empowering local minorities’ representation’ called for electing the local bodies representatives on a party basis so as to strengthen the democratic institutions.
In a resolution adopted at the convention which was arranged by the Centre for Social Justice, the speakers also called for ensuring representation for women and minorities in the LG system, especially in sub-committees, to ensure equal participation in decision-making. ECP must hold elections within the stipulated time to make the local government system effective and efficient; and the number should be increased by showing generosity in allocating minority seats in the constituencies so that the representation of religious minorities is meaningful, the resolution added.
The convention was aimed at underlining the issues faced by representatives of religious minorities, with the participation of councilors and socio-political leaders from Punjab.
Senior lawyer and country director of the Human Rights Watch, Saroop Ijaz, Director of Sangat Foundation Zahid Islam, Director of Idea Pakistan Salman Abid, Barrister Mubeenuddin Qazi and Executive Director of CSJ, Peter Jacob were present who called for timely elections, empowerment of all and emphasis on meaningful participation of the minority.
“From climatic and weather changes – which affect crops and food security, to the peace and conflict situation on our border areas such as Afghanistan, all citizens are affected by everything, and all these are related to governance issues. The convention will have presented a huge chance for those who have attended to understand how to reach out to their party leaders to represent what people want,” said Peter Jacob.
Barrister Qazi Mobin said that pursuant to Article 140-A of the Constitution, the Punjab Government should complete the system of local government as soon as possible and transfer political, administrative and financial responsibilities and powers to the elected representatives of local governments.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021