Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation doors again closed on elected LG representatives

Published July 9, 2021
Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Naseem Khan leads local government members to the RMC building to take charge on Thursday. — White Star
Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Naseem Khan leads local government members to the RMC building to take charge on Thursday. — White Star

RAWALPINDI: Mayor of Rawalpindi Sardar Naseem Khan failed to take charge of his office despite clear directions from the Supreme Court to restore the local government across the province.

The mayor, who is also the opposition PML-N metropolitan president, reached the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) to take charge of his office along with union council chairmen belonging to the PPP, PTI and the PML-N. But the administration locked the doors of his office.

Later, however, the administration opened the door of the mayor’s office but senior officials, including chief municipal officer Ali Abbas, left their offices as soon as the union council chairmen entered the office.

In the absence of the senior administration, the mayor and union council chairmen spent an hour in the mayor office and left after addressing a press conference.

On their arrival, a large number of people gathered in the RMC offices and chanted slogans in favour of the Supreme Court and the mayor.

Unable to take charge, mayor convenes session today

The mayor announced to call a session of the RMC house on Saturday and asked the UC chairmen to show their presence so people would see that the the Punjab government did not honour decisions of the apex court.

He said the union council chairmen had come to the civic body to get the charge of their offices as per directives of the Supreme Court.

“Punjab government is continuously bypassing the court orders. Supreme Court restored the local government on March 25 and a issued a detailed judgment on July 6 but the provincial government directed the civic bodies not to allow the elected representatives to enter the premises,” he said.

“Basically, the PML-N won the local government elections in Punjab and 56,000 elected representatives belonged to the party who supported the narrative of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The PTI government does not want to give them their rights due to its political vendetta,” he said.

Mr Khan said as per law all actions of the RMC after March 25 were null and avoid as these were not taken by the elected representatives.

He said the RMC or the local bureaucracy cannot announce the annual budget as it was the duty of elected representatives.

He said the mayor office and Jinnah Hall would remain in the possession of the elected representatives. He asked the RMC officials to appear before the elected house on Saturday or be ready to face contempt of court proceedings.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2021

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