LAHORE: Mayor retired Col Mubashir Javed has urged the Punjab government to immediately assign him official functions for the smooth performance of the duties in furtherance of the local government system in the light of the orders of superior and high courts.

In a letter to the local government department, he said that after the restoration of the local governments by the apex court, he, being the elected Lord Mayor and representative of the people of Lahore approached the Lahore High Court whereby the court was pleased to pass directly in para-3 of the order on July 28 for implementation of and smooth revival of the local government bodies.

“It is noted that in order to implement the judgment the august Supreme Court of Pakistan, all parties that are petitioners and respondents must work together so as to ensure that the judgment is implemented at earliest,” the para 3 of the LHC order, incorporated by Mr Mubashir in his letter, reads.

He said he attended the meetings with the deputy commissioner last week, but the mater was delayed despite specific orders of the Lahore High Court and the apex court. This delay, he said, is not only contemptuous but also it will hamper the spirit of articles 2-A, 4 and 6 and 140-A of the constitution of Pakistan.

“Therefore, the implementation of the judgment of the apex court be concluded forthwith, the same be not frustrated,” the letter reads. “The undersigned has already joined the office of ‘Lord Mayor’ on March 26, 2021, thus you are requested to apprise me about the conclusion of all workings,” he sought.

Since the Punjab government also filed a review petition in the apex court about its judgment, it, while following the March 25 short order and a subsequent detailed judgement issued by the Supreme Court in the first week of July also proposed restoration of local bodies across the province. Through a summary moved to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar the department proposed the constitution of transition teams at provincial, divisional and district levels to effectively steer this transition. Finally, a provincial transition team, headed by the local government department’s special secretary and consisting of the Punjab Local Government Board secretary as the secretary of the committee and representatives of regulation wing of S&GAD department, finance, and L&PA departments and others was constituted.

After that district and tehsil committees across the province held meetings in respective districts and tehsils on July 23 to devise an action plan for the restoration of the local governments. In meetings, the participants discussed the matters pertaining to inventories of assets, liabilities of the local governments, preparation of a draft of the transitional plan, assistance to the divisional and provincial teams, distribution of assets, liabilities and employees amongst the local governments.

In Lahore, district, and tehsil committees met under the deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioners (ACs) of City, Model Town, Raiwind, Shalimar and Cantt tehsils. The mayor, deputy mayors and other elected representatives also attended the meetings. However, most of the meetings reportedly ended with no solid output or the way forward to restore the local bodies’ institutions.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2021

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