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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File photo

LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved a draft of law for the proposed local government system for Punjab.

However, the opposition strongly reacted to the move and said any approval was the prerogative of the Punjab assembly.

A PML-N leader said on Saturday the prime minister had approved the draft law in his capacity as chief of the ruling party.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah briefed the prime minister on the proposed law.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Sharif said resolution of issues at the local level should be encouraged. “We will strengthen democracy by empowering local body institutions. Education and health will be given extra importance,” he said.

According to sources, the draft suggests holding of local body elections on non-party basis and the minimum age of candidates is proposed to be 25 years.

PML-N legislator Rana Arshad, who is a member of the special committee that drafted the bill, confirmed that the prime minister had approved it.

When asked if the elections would be held on party basis, Mr Arshad said: “The Punjab assembly will decide about this.”

On the other hand, PPP parliamentary leader in Punjab assembly Qazi Ahmed Saeed said the prime minister could not approve the draft as this was the prerogative of the provincial assembly.

“The premier can only be briefed about it by his party’s members.”

He said the committee’s head, Rana Sanaullah, had not bothered to show the opposition leaders the draft approved by the premier.

He said the opposition would go to the court if its three basic demands — holding of local body elections on party basis, giving financial and administrative powers to the head of the local body at the district level and authorising the house to remove the head — were not accepted.

Mr Saeed said the way the treasury members had approved the draft of the bill showed the PML-N would resort to a solo flight in the assembly to get it approved.

Comments (4) Closed

abdulsultan Aug 18, 2013 08:32am

No looters have any desire to authorise people at grass root level. Pakistan need many more provinces and local bodies should be allowed complete independence. Era of sahebe aalams and mughle azams should be burried once and for all time to come.

w.shaikh Aug 18, 2013 09:20am

I agree it is perogrative of the Punjab Assembly and not the PM. Pakistan has been under Military Rule for so long and the power has been centered in one man's hand so much for so long that institutions did not get a chance to develop. Most of our politicians are by products of Military rule and they don't know who is the proper authority. I don't believe Rana Sana Ullah or PM had bad intentions but they carried on the tradition of one man rule. It is against the principal of democracy and Nawaz Sharif and PML-N should start to act in a democratic style. The sooner they learn the better for the country and for themselves.

Sajjad Ashraf Aug 18, 2013 12:55pm

Who is Mr. Nawaz Sharif to approve Punjab law? Is there no Punjab cabinet or assembly?

Where are we heading?

ailly Aug 18, 2013 03:21pm

PM of pakistan is over-stepping his jurisdiction and poking into provincial matters, never mind CM is his brother .... so they are playing it as a family politics.. Wow, great Punjab Muslim League is showing true colors. No wonder sooner this government will be meet its fate like their two previous attempts in 1990s. Over-stepping and much defensive and no policies. Some one must make him understand business and politics are poles apart.