DECENTRALIZATION OR RECENTRALISATION LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORMS UNDER AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES IN PAKISTAN
The local government system adopted in the Pakistan’s political and administrative structure was actually inherited from the British Colonial system, where the idea of ‘self-governance’ was initially witnessed. From the beginning, attempts have been made to exercise adequate power and authority by subjugating the lower tiers of the government. Ironically, being a democratic country, much of the period of local government system was under the military governments that set the tone for making the local government function in the country. However, all the military government have tried to place an authoritarian rule by limiting public participation and favouring the non-representative entities, such as bureaucracy. On the contrary, civilian government had done little to pervade the local government reforms by failing to provide socioeconomic amenities or empower the local people. Though the Devolution of Power Plan, under General Musharraf's leadership, has remained the most effective step in making the lowest tier public-oriented, still provincial bureaucracies have appeared to carry out most of the state function in its post-implementation period. Thus, this article aims to comparatively analysing the local government reforms taken place during both military and civilian regimes, coupled with challenges drawn out as a result of devolving the power and resources constitutionally. A blueprint of recommendations is provided to revive the grassroots level democracy.