LAHORE - The local bodies system is being introduced in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) from the Independence Day on Tuesday, an MNA from the area said.
Asked how the local bodies system would succeed in presence of a bad law and order situation and absence of the Taliban, he said the government would not like to take any step in haste. The local bodies system would be introduced in phases, beginning from the areas where the Taliban have no say. “Taliban will not be made part of the system at any level,” he added.
Answering a question, Orakzai said the governor’s powers in the local system have been reduced. Now, he said the governor’s authority to nominate unelected people in the elected council, approve the budget or wind up the council have either been trimmed or amended.
About the introduction of the local bodies system, the Fata lawmaker said it would be started from towns, like Town Committee Parachinar, Bajaur. The residents of these towns eligible to cast their votes in the National Assembly elections will be qualified to use their franchise in the local body polls.
The town committees will have all financial and legal powers, including the power to impose taxes and pass budget.
In response to a question, Orakzai said the local administration reluctantly supports the LB system. The administration wanted 25 per cent members of the local councils nominated by the governor. “But we foiled the bid,” he maintained.
He said the elected councils would work on development and welfare projects, but would have nothing to do with administrative matters. The administration, he said, would support the system, willy-nilly.
Munir Orakzai said the federal government will make announcement regarding introduction of local bodies system in Fata on Independence Day, which is being celebrated tomorrow (Tuesday).
APP adds: Sajid Hussain Turi, who is a member of National Assembly from Kurram Agency, has said the government will announce the holding of local body elections in Fata on September 11.
Speaking in a radio programme, he said the government had agreed to hold local body elections in Fata under the supervision of the Election Commission instead of Governor and Political Agent.
Sajid Turi further commented that the holding of the local body elections will be started from urban areas of the tribal areas. In his own words, the MNA said “A proposal to hold fair and free local body elections first in urban areas of Fata was agreed upon by the governor. A final announcement to this effect will be made by the government.”