No let-up: LG representatives threaten to expand protest

Peshawar   -   Chairpersons of neighbourhood and village councils have issued a warning, stating that they will expand their protest starting May 17 if their demands remain unaddressed. Their protest, now in its third day, persisted at the Capital Metropolitan Government offices on Wednesday.

Mayor Zubair Ali joined the demonstrators, urging the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to accede to the members’ demands within a two-day ultimatum. He cautioned that failure to do so would prompt a city-wide protest commencing on May 17.

Ali emphasized that the protest aims to fortify the Local Government (LG) system, which he contends has considerably weakened over the past two years. He lamented the lack of devolution of powers to grassroots levels, noting that other provinces boast functional LG systems while KP’s languishes.

The mayor accused the ruling party of neglecting the LG system, despite former prime minister Imran Khan’s purported advocacy for its robustness. He urged diverse segments of society, including lawyers, doctors, and the business community, to join the cause, emphasizing its societal importance.

While a case was filed in court, yielding no results, Ali expressed optimism that the provincial government would address the matter in the upcoming budget. However, he questioned the allocation of funds for local governments, citing disparities in fund disbursement across tehsils.

Highlighting various issues, Ali expressed concerns over minority safety, inadequate facilities in handicraft centres, and sanitation problems in localities. He stressed the LG representatives’ commitment to resolving issues through dialogue and expressed hope for a positive governmental response.

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