This article is meant for the fulfillment of the course work requirement for the Masters of Philosophy in Political Science, as an interval assignment. The article focuses an overall review of the prevailing situation of the local government, decentralization and devolution of powers for the community uplift and people participation in the community development at grassroots level under the Pervez Musharraf’s Devolution Plan 2000.
Development is a major event which enable local people to take the responsibility of their own needs if it is implemented as an in its realistic spirit. We being the third world nations are unaware of our basic fundamental rights and at overall our obligations too, the developed states are developed because their communities are the development arms, communities take part in the process of planning, developing and implementing their projects too.
If people don’t care like the third world communities ultimately they are given no choices to get the best alternatives; because they are most of time dealt by their colonial masters and other non-sate actors the dictators and dogmatists. Ultimately the result of this inability gave birth to the dogma which makes it happen like the “Basic Democracies”, Local Government Ordinance 1979, “Devolution Plans” also known as “5Ds”, “Decentralization” National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) and Local Government Ordinance 2000. Most of the times these transitory arrangements could not even run for a tiniest duration beyond the expectations of their originators, last with the deadlock or even in some cases system were role backed. The present local government scenario where there is Local Government Units (LGUs) are placed and functioning but no Local Government Representatives (LGRs) these are major nuggets which I have tried to discuss, sought out the remedial measure for their reinforcement in this research paper, this is an hypothesis which is based on the review of major government documents and some other researches on the subject.
- 1. Introduction Pervez Musharraf’s Regime and Devolution Plan
Pakistan Army and Chief of Army Staff, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Pervez Musharraf expelled elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his elected government in 1999 coup which was a controlled coup in the history of Pakistan. This was the reaction of 12 October 1999; a preplanned action of Nawaz Sharif the plan was to replace Musharraf with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director-General Lieutenant-General Ziauddin Butt as Chief of Army Staff (CAS) while Musharraf was out of the country and coming back from Sri Lanka to Karachi
Nawaz Sharif ordered not to allow the commercial airline to land in the Pakistan, on which Musharraf was wayfaring in the country’s airspace; specifically argued that the airplane did not have a enough fuel act up on. The Pakistan Army erudite of the order for Pervez Musharraf and held the control tower of the Karachi airport in order to let the plane to land, this was the initiation of the takeover.
Soon after two days the coup, Musharraf declared emergency and emanated a Provisional Constitutional Order. The Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) shaped many issues, as a number of justices rebuffed to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).
On his address to nation on late night October 12, 1999 he outlined a seven point agenda which was as follows:
- I. Rebuild National confidence and morale
We are not a poor nation as is generally perceived. In fact, we are rich. We have fertile land that can produce three crops a year. We have abundant water to irrigate these lands and generate surplus power. We have gas, coal, and vast untapped mineral resources and above all, dynamic and industrious people. All these await mobilization. We have! Only to awake, join hands and grasp destiny for Allah helps those who help themselves.
- II. Strengthen Federation, remove Inter-Provincial disharmony and restore National cohesion
Cementing the federation is vital. This will be achieved through devolution of power, from the Centre to the .Provinces and from the Provincial to the local governments as actually enshrined in the Constitution.
- III. Devolution of power to the grass root level
Our Government sees devolution as the first step towards the re-building and the restoration of the people’s faith in the Government of their own country. With this new concept of elected community governments, an unprecedented transfer of power will take place from the elite to the vast majority. The people themselves will become empowered to take charge of the foundation of democracy and of the system by which they are governed.
- IV. Revive Economy and restore Investor confidence
Rebuilding of investor confidence through stability and consistency in economic policies and economic security. The objective is to encourage local investors, overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors:
1. Increase domestic savings
2. Carry out pragmatic tax reforms
3. Turn around state enterprises towards profitability
4. Boost agriculture and revive industry
5. Strict austerity measures
- V. Ensure law and order and dispense speedy justice
The basic ingredients to check corruption, I feel, are firstly developing strong institutions and systems, which avoid any discretionary authority and powers to anyone. Improving the qualities of law enforcement agencies is another area to check corruption. Sometimes you find yourself very helpless to deal with situations because your law enforcement agency is unable to deliver on whatever you are thinking, so therefore, the quality of law enforcement agencies is extremely important
- VI.Depoliticize State institutions
The political structure we plan involves a trilateral distribution of responsibilities between the Centre, the Provinces and the district representing the basic (lowest) rung of democracy
- VII. Ensure swift and across the board accountability
The process of accountability is being directed at those guilty of plundering and looting the National wealth, and tax evaders. It is also directed towards loan defaulters and those who have had their loans rescheduled or condoned. The process of accountability will be transparent for the public to see.
While addressing the cabinet meeting on after the takeover Chief Executive and Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf announced the decentralization through Establishment of National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB). National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) has been tasked for framing policies for national reenactment. The holistic approach of National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) was supposed to reconstruct state institutions across the entire fields of governance. The Local Government Plan 2000 was the first end product of National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), which was designed on five fundamentals:
- Ø Devolution of political power,
- Ø Decentralization of administrative authority,
- Ø Decentralization of management functions,
- Ø Diffusion of the power-authority nexus and
- Ø Distribution of resources to the district levels.
This is known as Devolution Plan which was designed to meet the sincere aspirations of the people, to be self-governed and their rights could also be protected. It was expected that the new structure will create an empowering environment in which the communities could take part and the process of community participation in local government system would make the radical changes in the spectrum of national politics. The ultimate result of this plan was the promulgation of Local Government Ordinance 2000