The moves and counter moves that Asif Ali Zardari has been making since acquiring absolute control of the PPP have kept his opponents unsettled for three long years. Even the hardcore ‘ideological types’ of his party have been grudgingly swallowing his never-ending appeasement of the forces who were never known for having any sympathy for the PPP. After initial shocks, such elements rather started realising that without commanding a clear majority in parliament, Zardari was destined to act pragmatically to stay in power until the next elections. There always comes a point, though, when even seemingly successful moves by a politician start producing diminishing returns and Zardari appears to have reached the turning point. Tuesday’s proceedings of the National Assembly brought this reality into the open, almost with a bang. Syed Zafar Ali Shah, an experienced politician from the neighbouring district of Zardari’s hometown in the heart of Sindh, took the lead. He joined the ANP legislators in walking out of the House to protest over the restoration of Local Government System that Gen Musharraf had enforced. The symbolic gesture by Shah was not noticed by most reporters. What forced the copious note-taking by them was the speech of Nabeel Gabool. This lawmaker is a scion of a family that has deep roots in Lyari, considered the ‘invincible citadel’ of the PPP in Karachi since the 1970s. He got the mike to speak on the frightening chaos gripping his hometown and confessed at the outset that his party leadership had “banned me from speaking in any of the TV talk shows. I have been obliging so far, but my voters have elected me to the National Assembly, how can I keep quiet, when it is discussing the issue of perennially deteriorating law and order in Karachi?”After opening with a defying question, Gabool switched his accumulated ire on Rehman Malik, the federal minister for interior. “He (Rehman Malik) knows too well from where the criminals are launched in bulletproof cars to unleash chaos in Karachi with reckless firing and random acts of arson. Yet, he is just not willing to stop them,” alleged Gabool. He was lethal in referring to interior minister’s announcement of rewards for citizens, who would give information about hardened criminals and weapons in Karachi. “I have a list of at least 500 persons in this context. Would Rehman Malik dare order a raid even to counter-check my information?” he wondered sarcastically. Malik and Awan blamed for PPP’s Karachi reverses By Nusrat Javeed Published: August 10, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/228182/malik-and-awan-blamed-for-ppps-karachi-reverses/
Bolta Pakistan - 9th Aug 2011 Part 1
Bolta Pakistan - 9th Aug 2011 Part 2
News Night with Talat Ep 196 Part 4
Jalal Mehmood Shah, the president of Sindh United Party, along with leaders of other Sindhi Nationalist parties, members of civil society and intellectuals. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI - DECLARATION - We, the representatives of political parties, intellectuals, writers and Civil Society members representing various cross sections of the population of Sindh have met today and deliberated on the vital issue of unity and integrity of Sindh torpedoed by the PPP government by enacting a repealed Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2001 in obvious insult to the Sindh Assembly members in general and People of Sindh in particular. This representative meeting of Sindh today further deliberated on the collapse of law and order, corrupt system of governance prevailing in the province and threats to the Unity of Sindh by the inept and conscious policies of the PPP government and one of its coalition partner. The meeting condemned the manner in which the affairs of the province are being handled by the PPP government with particular reference to the enactment and re-enactment of Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2001 on the pressure of one of its coalition partner and to the complete exclusion of Sindhi masses from the decision-making. We believe that PPP has lost its representative character to rule Sindh anymore which has been amply proved from the widespread mass protests and strikes of last two days by the people of Sindh. We congratulate the people of Sindh for waging valiant struggle for the rights of their motherland.
Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath - 9th Aug 2011 - Part - 3
Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath - 9th Aug 2011 - Part - 3
In continuation of our struggle for the emancipation of people from the corrupt system of governance and secure the interests of Sindh and its people, we hereby declare as follows:
1. That PPP government must tender unconditional apology to the people of Sindh for injuring their sentiments and undermining their mandate.
2. We believe that PPP has become a security risk for the unity of Sindh and it would not be allowed to play with the national and democratic aspirations of the people of Sindh.
2. That PPP government must withdraw the repealing ordinance reviving Sindh Local Ordinance, 2001 which is in complete derogation of law and constitution as repealed Act of a provincial Assembly could not be revived by an Ordinance issued by the Governor. Governor, being a representative of Federation, has no authority under the law to rescind the legislation passed by a duly elected Assembly of the province. And any legislation against the aspirations of people of Sindh would be a void enactment.
3. That PPP must also withdraw the ordinance repealing various provisions of Sindh Land Revenue Act 1967 which established a system of governance based on deputy Commissioners and Commissioners.
4. That Karachi being a Metropolitan city is being inhabited by various communities and for the sake of representative local government system; it must be organized into six districts including a new District of Layari. PPP must also take steps to check unhindered influx of illegal immigrants in Karachi and introduce such legislation under article 15 of the constitution.
5. That during the last 3 and half year misrule of PPP, Sindh has suffered immensely. Merit killing, breakdown of law and order, corruption and bad governance has been the order of day. The flood affected people of Sindh still live in miserable conditions. People of Sindh want that this system of corruption and maladministration must end forthwith and Sindh must be given clean and corruption free government free from all kinds of coercion and lawlessness.
6. That people of Sindh would continue their struggle for their national rights and for establishing a humane society in Sindh until that goal is achieved.
7. The meeting vowed to fight with full force all conspiracies against the unity and sovereignty of Sindh and appealed the electorate of Sindh to replace the present treacherous lot of elected representatives with capable and conscientious sons of soil so that interests and resources of Sindh could be secured and right of its people to rule their land could be established once for all. REFERENCE: FOR NEWSPAPER CLICK THIS: Nationalists, civil society demand restoration of Commissionerate system By Hafeez Tunio Published: August 10, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/228166/nationalists-civil-society-demand-restoration-of-commissionerate-system/
KARACHI, Aug 9: While the opposition has slammed the PPP-led government over the local government issue, a senior PPP leader has termed the SLGO 2001 violative of the constitution and claimed that its restoration, whether in two districts or all over Sindh, hardly made any difference. Speaking to this reporter on Tuesday, Secretary-General of the PPP (Sindh) Taj Haider while explaining grounds for his contention said he was surprised that neither he nor the local leadership of the PPP was consulted on the matter. He said he could not understand that why Khurshid Shah, who had headed the committee to negotiate with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, was not in the picture when the selective restoration of the SLGO 2001 was announced. He claimed that the SLGO 2001 ignored the basic criteria of equality of population in districts, clearly demarcated boundaries, homogeneity, contiguity and revenue base. Thus Karachi with a population of 17 million was also a district on a par with Tando Mohammad Khan and Matiari with populations of less than half a million each, he added. In the days of the dictator, districts were carved out of political expediency, he said. No uniform principles were followed, he added. In almost all cases, the boundaries depended on ethnicity or the ability of a particular mafia to control polling stations at gunpoint. These were prejudices and fault lines, which under the constitution the state is obliged to discourage, he said.
No one could ever explain the legality or the logic behind merging the five districts of Karachi into a single district and at the same time carving out four districts out of the much smaller district of Hyderabad, said Mr Haider. He said the electoral scheme of the SLGO 2001 allowed 13 members to be elected in a union council on the basis of the 13 highest number of votes by different candidates. The electoral principle of the constitution (except for reserved seats) was that of single member constituencies, he said. According to him, the population of the union council has to be nearly equal in order to uphold the constitutional principle of equal representation. The size of union councils in Karachi was twice or thrice the size of the union councils in rural Sindh. Keeping a uniform population size of 25,000 persons per union council as in rural Sindh, Karachi would qualify for almost 800 union councils instead of its present 178, he argued. Mr Haider claimed that union council nazim and naib nazim were elected on the pattern of presidential system of direct vote for the office, violating the constitutional pattern. The district nazim, where the real power rested, was elected on an indirect vote of nazims, naib nazims (elected on the presidential system) and councilors (elected on the multiple-member constituency system), he said.
The constitutional scheme provided for a parliamentary form, which implied that an elected house would be constituted, consisting of members elected from single member constituencies (except for reserved seats) and the member commanding the confidence of majority members would be leader of the house and the chief executive at that particular level of the government, he said, adding that executive and financial powers rested with indirectly elected persons under the SLGO 2001. The irony was that the much-trumpeted devolution stopped at the level of the indirectly elected district nazim, he said, adding that directly elected UC nazim had to remain at the mercy of funds and functions doled out by the district nazim. Mr Haider said the funds for district governments although distributed among the districts by the provincial finance commission were provided by the federal government. He said that besides the fact that the local government took all the political credit for schemes financed by the provincial government, the province did not have any control on procedural aspects of the development schemes. The PPP government carried out prolonged discussions with coalition partners for its replacement with a good law according to our needs and in concurrence with the provisions of our constitution. The need for strengthening the reconciliation process and the imperative of containing violence had once again resulted in our being stuck with this piece of legislation. It was now for the other parties to set political expediency and emotionalism aside and let cool reasoning prevail, Mr Haider concluded. REFERENCE: Sindh PPP not consulted over LG revival, says leader By Our Reporter | From the Newspaper (6 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/10/sindh-ppp-not-consulted-over-lg-revival-says-leader.html
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) strongly rejecting the government’s decision of reviving the commissionerate system in Sindh on Sunday, vowed to challenge it at every level, Geo News reported. MQM Deputy Convener Dr. Farooq Sattar said this while addressing a press conference after simultaneous meetings MQM’s Coordination Committee London and Karachi. “MQM strongly opposes and rejects the revival of Commissionerate System in Sindh and it will go to courts and people to raise its voice against the dictatorial step,” he said, adding the government’s decision will also be challenged and opposed in the National and provincial assemblies. He termed the restoration of Commissionerate System by the government as a conspiracy to deprive the people of their basic rights and aimed only at strengthening the existing feudal system across the country. He went on to say that the CS system negatives the very norms and spirit of democracy. Comparing the CS system with the local government set up, Dr. Farooq Sattar said the LG system ensured transfer of power to the grass roots level and offered a best way to resolve people’s issues by public representatives with direct access to citizens. Democracies all over the world have been making a successful use local government system. He said the Commissionerate System was first enforced in British colonial era and only protected the interests of two percent elites. Now this system is non-existent even in Britain, he added. Anees Qaimkhani says MQM would challenge the government’s decision in all the courts and strongly oppose it in National and provincial assemblies. “It is an attempt to break Pakistan and to divide Sindh and Karachi, it is a conspiracy against Sindi and Urdu speaking communities,” he maintained. REFERENCE: MQM to challenge commissionerate system at every level http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18465
Sunday, July 10, 2011, Shaban-ul-Muazzam 07, 1432 A.H
Dirty & Filthy Power Politics of PML - N (Off The Record 4 Jul 2011)
Altaf Hussain Exposing Nawaz Sharif on Judiciary & Long March.
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said Sunday that all political parties should unite on the one-point agenda to end the current dictatorship, DawnNews reported. In a telephone conversation with Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Atique Ahmad Khan the MQM chief said, “Everyone in Pakistan is aware of the fraud in the recent Azad Kashmir elections.” “The current government is authoritarian and not a democratic government,” said Altaf Hussain. Sardar Atique in his conversation with Altaf Hussain condemned the violence in Karachi and the government pressure on MQM during Kashmir elections. REFERENCE: All political parties unite on one-point agenda: Altaf DAWN.COM Yesterday http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/10/all-political-parties-unite-on-one-point-agenda-altaf.html
Deputy Convener of Muttahida Quami Movement Dr Farooq Sattar has asked the head of Muslim League (N) Mian Nawaz Sharif to pay more attention on improving the working of his government in Punjab where the law and order situation has touched the lowest ebb, crime has increased manifolds and a large number of innocent people have lost their lives in different incidents. Dr Sattar said this while commenting upon the statement of Mian Nawaz Sharif about situation in Karachi. Dr Sattar said that the “wounds of Karachi that are bleeding were inflicted by the government of Mina Nawaz Sharif during the state sponsored operation.” He recalled that the law and order situation in Karachi back in 1992 was far better but the government of Nawaz Sharif called Army in Sindh in the guile of arresting 72 big fish but the real motive was to stop MQM from spreading its presence throughout Pakistan. He said that the leadership of PML (N) was terrified at the fast spreading of the message of MQM and its appeal to the people of Punjab hence they were once again trying to block the path of MQM in Punjab. Dr Sattar asserted that MQM would soon establish a big centre in Punjab. He said that Nawaz Sharif was criticizing induction in the Police department in Sindh but it was during his government alone that 24 thousand recruitments were made in Police department directly out of which 7 thousand recruitments were made from the constituencies of Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif. REFERENCE: DR FAROOQ SATTAR CHIDES NAWAZ SHARIF WAS HIS UTTERENCES. Added by CC on January 20, 2011 at 2:37am http://www.allaboutmqm.org/photo/dr-farooq-sattar-chides-nawaz
Dr Imran Farooq said Hakeem Saeed was murdered on Nawaz Sharif Orders - GEO TV
Imran Khan & Nawaz Sharif Condemning MQM Together - (GEO TV 2007)
The passage of the Bill may prove to be the biggest victory for the PML-N since it came to power in Punjab.
Mustafa Kamal (Mayor Karachi) Exposing Nawaz Sharif & Benazir Bhutto in USA. (GEO TV)
Punjab has rid itself of Gen Musharraf`s local government system. On Thursday, the Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Bill to wrap up the LG system. Although they were unable to prevent the passage of the bill, the nazims of Gen Musharraf`s system went down fighting. Their views generate sympathy and raise questions about the motives of the provincial government. They have some valid points, although the now defunct local government system did appear to offer the people little that was positive. A total of three sections have been amended. One section — 179-A — has been added to the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001. Under Section 179-A “…all zila councils, tehsil councils, town councils and union councils … stand dissolved with immediate effect”. The section gives the government a maximum of 180 days to notify a date for holding local government elections. An amendment empowers the provincial government to appoint an `election authority` for holding these polls. The head of the authority is to be appointed by the Punjab government. Why the PML-N government had to come up with an election authority that goes against the 10th provision of the Charter of Democracy is anybody`s guess. “Local bodies election[s] will be held on [a] party basis through provincial election commissions in respective provinces,” promised the CoD. While the PML-N may be constrained by its own power desires, the party is inevitably under fire for not practising what it upheld publicly. Regrettably, party leaders do not appear to have reflected on the criticism after having paved the way for a local government system of their choice. The losers are of course allies of the last regime but, more importantly, the PPP. Under the guidance of the president and the prime minister, the PPP supported the amendment bill but “with a heavy heart”. One disgruntled PPP member of the assembly described the bill as “poison” for the party. On the other hand, the passage of the Local Government (Amendment) Bill may prove to be the biggest victory for the PML-N since it came to power in Punjab in the last general election. REFERENCE: New LG system Dawn Editorial February 6, 2010 http://archives.dawn.com/archives/32537
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People`s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement have decided to keep the local government (LG) system of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf in force in Sindh, sources told Dawn on Sunday. They said that the commissionerate system would not be introduced in Sindh because the two parties had reached a fresh understanding which led the MQM to announce that it would rejoin the federal cabinet. “It has been decided by the two parties that unlike other provinces the commissionerate system will not be introduced in Sindh,” said MQM leader Zahid Mehmood. He said his party had been urging the PPP to hold local body elections which were due last year. President Asif Ali Zardari`s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said: “The PPP had once decided to table the commissionerate system bill in the provincial assembly after the MQM parted ways with the government.” The proposal to change the local government system in Sindh was believed to be one of the main differences between the PPP and MQM. Besides replacing the old LG system, the commissionerate system envisaged the division of Karachi into four districts as had been done in Hyderabad, but the MQM has opposed the proposal. REFERENCE: PPP, MQM agree to keep LG system in Sindh By Syed Irfan Raza | From the Newspaper (11 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/09/ppp-mqm-agree-to-keep-lg-system-in-sindh.html
Lt. General (R) Tanveer Hussain Naqvi in Jawab Deyh - 1 (GEO TV)
The strangest case is that of Lt-Gen Tanvir Naqvi and his district devolution plan. No kidding, Gen Naqvi is a bright officer. Whoever heard him speaking during the Zarb-I-Momin military exercises when General Aslam Beg was army chief came away greatly impressed. But the profession of arms is one thing, politics quite another. Has he ever cast his vote in an election? Has he ever been near a village polling station in his life? I doubt it. If a delegation of NATO commanders were visiting Pakistan the best person to address them from the present crop of serving or retired generals would be Gen Naqvi. But if an election plan were being put together I would keep Gen Naqvi at a distance of a hundred miles. References: As per Daily Dawn Columnist Mr Ayaz Amir [dated 21 April 2000 i.e. One year after Illegal Martial Law Regime of General Musharraf and Co] had written on the cronies in General Musharraf's Cabinet http://www.dawn.com/weekly/ayaz/20000421.htm
The commissionerate system bill was to be tabled in the provincial assembly on January 7, but the MQM put pressure on the PPP not to change the LG system. Other three provincial governments have already wrapped up the local government system, but have not come up with an alternative so far. The Balochistan government has enacted its own LG law, but it is reported to have many flaws. The draft of LG law prepared by the Punjab government also has several discrepancies. Punjab Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman told a private TV channel recently that his government had prepared the draft law which would be approved by the cabinet soon and tabled it in the provincial assembly. The new law, he said, would remove the flaws in the previous system. Former chairman of the NRB Daniyal Aziz told Dawn that the draft prepared by the Punjab government had a number of flaws and it could not be implemented. He said he would brief the media on the issue in a couple of days. REFERENCE: PPP, MQM agree to keep LG system in Sindh By Syed Irfan Raza | From the Newspaper (11 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/09/ppp-mqm-agree-to-keep-lg-system-in-sindh.html Provincial Autonomy VS Local Bodies Government http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/08/provincial-autonomy-vs-local-bodies.html
Lt. General (R) Tanveer Hussain Naqvi in Jawab Deyh - 2 (GEO TV)
During 2004 ANP Senator Asfandyar Wali said when Gen Pervez Musharraf assumed power and presented his seven- point agenda, there was a little hope as it contained the issue of provincial disharmony. However, he said, the devolution plan presented by Lt-Gen (retired) Tanveer Naqvi even snatched a little bit autonomy which the provinces had been enjoying. He said the devolution should be from federal to provinces and then from provinces to districts. By putting the districts directly under the federal system for six years, the provincial governments have been made post offices and the chief ministers should be called postmasters general, he added. Reference: SDPI Research and News Bulletin - "Greater Provincial Autonomy" http://www.sdpi.org/help/research_and_news_bulletin/nbjanfeb04/articles/In%20Retrospect.htm
Lt. General (R) Tanveer Hussain Naqvi in Jawab Deyh - 3 (GEO TV)
REPORTS that the federal government is planning to transfer more subjects to the provinces out of the concurrent list deserve to be welcomed. Such a move was overdue, because restricted autonomy has been cause of much resentment among the provinces. Even though federal in nature, the 1973 Constitution has a strong bias in favour of the centre. According to article 142- (c), a provincial assembly has the power to make laws "with respect to any matter not enumerated in either the federal legislative list or the concurrent list". Significantly, the fourth schedule has only two lists - federal and concurrent - and does not have a provincial list. The federal list contains 67 subjects (59 in Part I and eight in Part II). The concurrent list consists of 47 subjects, leaving very little for the federating units to legislate on. In other words, the provinces have the right to legislate on very small number of subjects "not enumerated either in the federal legislative list or in the concurrent list". In matters of tax collection especially, the Basic Law virtually denies the constituent units any worthwhile sources of revenue. As a perusal of taxation powers will show, the federal government has reserved for itself almost all sources of revenue. The federal taxes mentioned in the fourth schedule - points 43 to 54 - include virtually all taxes, except, very significantly, "taxes on income other than agricultural income". Reference: Need for consensus September 12, 2005 Monday Sha'aban 7, 1426 http://www.dawn.com/2005/09/12/ed.htm Nothing but provincial autonomy By Shamim-ur-Rahman - Mr. Shamim-ur-Rahman is a Senior Correspondent with Daily Dawn - Pakistan http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/dmag1.htm This article appeared in 2006 For the Text Balochistan: Nothing but provincial autonomy By Shamim-ur- Rahman http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/04/balochistan-nothing-but-provincial.html
Lt. General (R) Tanveer Hussain Naqvi in Jawab Deyh - 4 (GEO TV)
The last Martial Law of General Pervez Musharraf [1999 - 2008] has further eroded already negligent Provincial Autonomy by introducing the so-called "Devolution Plan", BBC's Tim Sebastian had ruined Tanveer Naqvi Lt. General [General Musharraf's National Reconstruction Bureau's Chief Planner] and his so-called Devolution Plan in one of his program Hard Talk in the year 2000 - 2001. One must have joined issue with Lt.-Gen (Rtd) Tanvir Naqvi when he says that the army has ``the right`` to amend the Constitution. Speaking on the BBC, the chief of the National Reconstruction Bureau, however, tried to soften the impact of his remarks by saying that the government was not going to amend ``the whole Constitution.`` This evades the real issue, which is: does the army have a right at all to amend the nation`s basic law? [BBC Link of Hard Talk is not available but I had myself watched the Program - www.bbc.co.uk]. To protect the devolution scheme from interference by elected governments, Musharraf's LFO placed the four provincial Local Government Ordinances in that part of the 1973 constitution (the Sixth Schedule) that can only be amended with consent of the president. It was also required that provincial governments "shall, by law, establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected local representatives" . This provision creates the false impression that devolution remains within a provincial framework but its protected constitutional status effectively precludes provinces from amending the LGO. With this constitutional cover, the military government could rely on its local clients ensure a favourable outcome in the October 2002 national elections. In the Punjab, where a majority of district and tehsil nazims could be counted on to support military-backed candidates for the national and provincial assemblies, they were encouraged to mobilise support openly for the pro-Musharraf PML-Q in return for generous developmental funds. Elsewhere, nazims were threatened and intimidated to support PML-Q candidates. In parts of Sindh and Baluchistan, wholesale transfers of district officers were ordered to blunt the authority of "hostile" nazims. Local governments proved instrumental in the military government's manipulation of these general elections, which international human rights and election observer groups termed "seriously flawed". With the military's backing, the PML-Q obtained the most seats in the National Assembly and the Punjab Provincial Assembly. "The blatant political use of elected councils in the general elections has proved beyond any doubt that the local bodies had been primarily created for that very purpose",. Reference: Lets have a look at the so-called Refroms thrusted down the throats of 170Million Pakistanis by A MARTIAL LAW REGIME during 1999-2007. International Crisis Group had published a detailed and an impartial report in 2004. For kind perusal - Devolution in Pakistan: Reform or Regression? 22 March 2004 http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=2549&l=1] [For Text of that Report in 4 Parts - Playing with basic law: Devolution Plan of Musharraf - http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/playing-with-basic-law-devolution-plan.html -http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/playing-with-basic-law-devolution-plan_05.html - http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/playing-with-basic-law-devolution-plan_7260.html - http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/playing-with-basic-law-devolution-plan_2210.html
Lt. General (R) Tanveer Hussain Naqvi in Jawab Deyh - 5 (GEO TV)
Pakistan's military government launched a campaign for political devolution in 2000 that it said was aimed at transferring administrative and financial power to local governments. The scheme was to strengthen local control and accountability and, according to President Pervez Musharraf, "empower the impoverished" . In practice, however, it has undercut established political parties and drained power away from the provinces while doing little to minimise corruption or establish clear accountability at a local level. The reforms, far from enhancing democracy, have strengthened military rule and may actually raise the risks of internal conflict. Under the Devolution of Power Plan announced in August 2000, local governments were to be elected on a non-party basis in phased voting between December 2000 and July 2001. District and sub-district governments have since been installed in 101 districts, including four cities. Operating under its respective provincial Local Government Ordinance 2001, each has its Nazim and Naib Nazim (mayor and deputy mayor), elected council and administration. Like previous local government plans, Musharraf's called for re-establishing elected local councils at district and sub-district levels.It promised substantial autonomy for elected local officials and, most notably, placed an elected official as overall head of district administration, management and development, reversing a century-old system that subordinated elected politicians to bureaucrats. Musharraf's scheme ostensibly aimed at establishing the foundations of genuine local democracy. However, the main rationale for devolution was and remains regime legitimacy and survival. Aside from the widespread allegations of rigging and manipulation that have shadowed them, the non-partisan nature of the local elections has exacerbated ethnic, caste and tribal divisions and undermined the organisational coherence of political parties. Devolution, in fact, has proved little more than acover for further centralised control over the lower levels of government. Despite the rhetoric from Islamabad of empowerment, local governments have only nominal powers. Devolution from the centre directly to the local levels, moreover, negates the normal concept of decentralisation since Pakistan's principal federal units, its four provinces, have been bypassed. The misuse of local government officials during the April 2002 presidential referendum and the October 2002 general elections has left little doubt that these governments were primarily instituted to create a pliant political elite that could help root the military's power in local politics and displace its traditional civilian adversaries. Friction is growing between various levels of government, especially since the military transferred power, at least formally, to the central and provincial governments that were formed after the 2002 elections. These tensions are partly the result of the manner in which the devolution plan was devised and implemented in the absence of elected officials and against the strong opposition of the major political parties, civil society and media. Despite its lack of domestic legitimacy, the devolution plan has considerable support from donors, who mistakenly believe it is advancing democracy and building down military rule.For now, the military's backing as well as this external support works in its favour. But low domestic acceptance undermines its long-term prospects, and the military's political engineering that accompanies it is widening divisions at the local and provincial levels. Some of these could well lead to greater domestic violence and instability. Devolution in Pakistan: Reform or Regression? 22 March 2004 http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=2549&l=1