Protest Seminar against Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance 2015

Civil Society gathered at Lahore Press Club on Monday (7th September) for a protest seminar under the auspices of Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan has termed the Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance as Un-constitutional, undemocratic, anti-minorities women, labor and anti-youth and has demanded that this Ordinance should be immediately done away with to ensure the effective representation of religious minorities, women, labor, youth and other weaker segments of the society in the Local Government System. 


The Protest Seminar was addressed by prominent political and social personalities including Justice (R) NasiraJavedIqbal, Mr. Mian Imran Masood (Secretary Information Punjab, PML-Q) , Mr. Khuram Nawaz Gandapur (Secretary General- Pakistan Awami Tehreek), Mr. Salman Abid (Regional Head SPO), Mr. TahirNaveedChaudhary Advocate (Chairman, Pakistan Minorities Alliance), Ms. AimaMehmood (General Secretary All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Pakistan Worker Confederation), Mr. PervaizSaroya (Coordinator- Christian Councilors Itehad), ChaudharyYaqoob (Chairman, MutehdaLabour Federation), Mr. RiazMehmoodMattoo (Chairman, -Tehreek-e-Tahfuz-e-Huqooq-e-Akliyat),Mr. Abdullah Malik (President- Civil Society Network), Mr. Tariq Siraj Advocate-MutahidaMaseehi Party, Mr. AmarnathRandhawa (President- Hindu SudharSabha) and Mr. Samson Salamat (Director- Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan)

In his opening remarks Chief Organizer of the Seminar Mr. Samson Salamat said “the ultimate goal of any democratic system is to empower people, especially the weaker sections of the society, but unfortunately the Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance 2015 promulgated by the Punjab Government practically gives more power to the powerful and weakens the already marginalized communities of our society including the Minorities, women, and Labor who have been deprived of their direct representation in the lowest tier of the democratic set up. “This is highly condemnable, disturbing and discriminatory and a sort of political apartheid and therefore we strongly demand that the Punjab Government should seriously look into its anti-people policy and done away with the amendments made through an Ordinance” He added.

Mr. Khuram Nawaz Gandapur (Secretary General- Pakistan Awami Tehreek) said that it is the right of the minorities, women, labour and youth to get their rights and elect their representatives directly through their votes and therefore Punjab Local Government Ordinance should be removed immediately.” He further added “we need to draw lines between the different tiers of democratic set up and the parliamentarians should only be restricted to legislation and no development funds should be spent through the parliamentarians because all this responsibility should be transferred local governments which should be fully empowered.

Mian Imran Masood said that “the general concept is that the Ordinances are passed only in emergencies and not when the parliament is intact but the Punjab Government has promulgated the Punjab Local Government Ordinance even in the presence of Punjab Assembly which clearly shows their ill intentions. Therefore we strongly condemn this Ordinance and demand the due representation of marginalized communities including Minorities, women, labor and youth and if the Punjab Government does not bring changes in the Local

Government System our party may go for a boycott, he added.

In the end of the protest seminar the speakers and participants unanimously resolved that the Government of Punjab should re-think on its policy and done away with the Punjab Local Government (Amended) Ordinance and should come up with a Local Government system which is inclusive and empowers the weaker sections of the society including Minorities, women and workers and gives them their democratic and constitutional right to elect their own representative. 

It was also resolved that the Local Government should be fully empowered and should have control over the financial resources and there should be no interference of the provincial government in the Local Government System, and rather the local government system should develop its own monitoring mechanisms.

In the end a demonstration was held in front of Lahore Press Club and the participants chanted slogans against the Punjab Local Government Ordinance (Amended) and demanded its removal and also demanded the right for religious minorities, women, labour and youth to elect their representatives directly through their vote