LAHORE - As the first step towards complete rollback of the Local Government System, the proposed constitutional package will do away with the Sixth Schedule, which barred the political dispensation from making any amendment in the Local Government Ordinance, in order to pave way for abolishing one of the most controversial plans introduced by the Musharraf regime when it was at its zenith. According to well-placed sources, the Presidency seemed to be disinterested in the move of abolishing the LGS perhaps owing to the fact that there are more important things to be done at the moment instead of saving the much-criticised though much-hyped devolution plan, which is drawing its last breaths at the altars of political and bureaucratic opponents. Secondly, it is also being foreseen that the NRB would be abolished as well, as the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee is expected to gain more weight. All the provinces are unanimous on abolishing the LGS and the Police Order. According to details divulged by an official source, at a recent meeting of the National Reconstruction Bureau, which was chaired by Dr Asim Hussain, also attended by Federal Minister for Law Farooq H. Naek besides other senior provincial representatives, the latter assured the attendees of the meeting that in the just-round-the-corner constitutional package, the 6th Schedule, Article 268 and the concurrent list would be removed from the Constitution. This Schedule actually gave protection to the LGO. According to Article 268 (2), "The laws specified in the Sixth Schedule shall not be altered, repealed or amended (expressly or impliedly) without the previous sanctions of the President (accorded after consultation with the Prime Minister)." Added to this clause is "Provided that the laws mentioned at the entries 27 to 30 and entry 35 in the Sixth Schedule shall stand after six years." Entries 27 to 30 are about the Local Government Ordinances for four provinces, while entry 35 is about the Police Order 2002. "This amendment will pave way for abolishing the two controversial systems, which have brought governance to its lowest resulting from the collusive corruption culture, and with no check-and-balance system in place," said the source, while adding that the promises of the authoritarian set up to pulverise the then existing system and eliminate whatever inequalities it contained, were left unfulfilled. "It became a hodgepodge democracy with concentration of all powers in the hands of one man, who transmitted the authority to one institution by imposing its supremacy. This monopoly of power by one institution established a new kind of privilege to which the despotic political power at that time provided the entrTe," he maintained. The meeting members made a point that it was good to bring changes for an improvement, but if it failed, commonsense could be the next best thing. "Political and administrative changes made sans commonsense always lead to confusion and conflict, and that is what we are facing now through the LGS. All the changes should be made for the better and should come gradually. But all the President's men utterly changed everything that gave birth to a terrible mayhem. Instead of opening one front at a time, they in search of utopia were lost in a jungle of political wilderness by opening numerous fronts. All the institutions upon which the state stands were gradually eroded and until these institutions are re-established on firm footing, the state would confront a chaotic situation," averred the source, while strongly advocating the need for doing away with the LGO ASAP. "The same big promises, the solemn vows to the miserable masses that the better days would be coming to them under the devolution plan, only kept the hopes alive. The coming days, instead, turned out to be James Joyce's satire who counted the days of the week, as moanday, tearsday, wailsday, thumpsday, frightday and shatterday," said the source. The source told The Nation that at the outset of the meeting, it was unanimously decided that there was no need to talk about the agenda. The provinces - representatives held separate meeting prior to the formal one - had shown clear concern that these subjects - the LGS and the Police Order - were the provincial subjects according to the constitution. Chairman NRB straightaway conceded it by saying that we should not debate this subject, as these were provincial subjects certainly. "Our present exercise is not intended at transgressing into the provinces. We want that whatever the provinces bring a system, it should be uniform and not at variance to each other," he quoted Dr Asim Hussain, while adding that the provinces held that minor divisions on the basis of ground reality would be there as a system, which was required by Balochistan, would of less use to Sindh or Punjab. "What the NWFP needs at the moment, will not be a requirement of the other provinces; hence the needs will be varying from one province to another," he said. He further said the aspects on which everyone agreed was that the system had absolutely failed to deliver. "There is no second opinion on that. The system, which was introduced through the LGO, one thing, which has devolved, is corruption, which has seeped to the grass root level. Our contention was that if devolution is the aim, then the federal government should devolve its own functions, which are being duplicated. Then let the provinces devolve its functions. What has actually happened, the federal government, while sitting in Islamabad, decided that it would devolve the provincial authority on to the districts, which is the prerogative of the provincial authority. Everyone knows what was the frame of mind behind this - 'to establish supremacy of one institution over all other institutions'. The Federation will only get strengthened once everyone work within laid down purview in the Constitution, which was also one of the subjects of the last legislative polls," he said, while vowing that the provinces knew what should be done to bring back the system on track. The provinces also had consensus that the magistracy was required. "There is no way that the government can do work this way, as people's expectation are from the government. In the present scheme of things, the government is nowhere. Chief Secretary Sindh pointed out that he had 28 fiefdoms in his province, and every fiefdom is totally independent. I do not have districts any more," said the source. The members also pointed out that there were no vertical linkages from the Union Councils to the Provincial governments. "It was also told to 'excellency' Mr Naqvi when the Ordinance was being outlined. When he was told that the linkages were not being provided, to which he said 'this is exactly what we want. We don't want to have any connections'. Even at time, the provinces were not ready to accept this System, but it was forced upon them. Now there is a realisation at every level, including the NRB, to mend the system," he said. There was also a debate whether to mend the LGS or do away with this. All provinces had consensus that there was no room to mend it, and they wanted to go back to the Local Government Ordinance of 1979. "The provincial governments have demanded of the NRB for reviving the Local Government Ordinance 1979, which was far better than the present LGS. Instead of making amendments in this system, rather incorporating a few positives of the LGO 2001 in to the 1979 system for making it more effective. The NRB officials had no reservations on this," he said, while mentioning that it had been decided to give 15 days to the provinces to meet among themselves to bring a framework how to proceed further.