Merivar (Dharti News) Without the establishment of local government and the empowerment of elected representatives, public participation in government affairs is not possible, nor can a sustainable and truly democratic system take hold. Experienced and pragmatic leadership will emerge from the rehabilitation of local government institutions. These views were expressed by the speakers while addressing a conference organized by the Center for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR) regarding local government elections. Leaders of Tehreek-e-Insaf, People’s Party, Non-League, Muslim Conference, lawyers, journalists and civil society leaders welcomed the local elections held at the end of November and said that the Election Commission should make it possible to conduct clean, transparent and fair elections. Former Chief Justice Muhammad Azam Khan, Health Minister Dr. Nisar Ansar Abdali, former Minister and PML-N Leader Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed, President of People’s Party Women’s Wing and Member of Assembly Nabila Ayub, PTI Central Leader Sardar Zulfiqar Abbasi, U. NDP’s Hasnain Geelani, Senior Journalist Muhammad Shakeel, Irshad Mahmood, Shaukat Majeed Advocate, Chaudhry Arif, Chaudhry Munir Hussain, Altaf Hameed Rao, Dr. Zubair Qazi, Hafiz Maqsood, Taimur Akbar, Ms. Asma Advocate, Mishkoor Ahmed Mughal, Ms. Efifa Owais, Dr. Waqaz Ali and others also addressed. Former Chief Justice Muhammad Azam Khan said that the holding of local body elections is a wonderful development. Women cannot be empowered without imparting quality education under the Devolution Plan. Justice Azam Khan suggested that to empower the local government in the real sense, reforms should be made in the Local Government Act after the election, a new chapter of construction and development will open in Azad Kashmir. He said that the provision of quality education is very important for the empowerment of youth and women. Health Minister Dr. Nisar Ali Abdali said that despite all the difficulties and reservations, the PTI government is conducting local elections because we promised in the manifesto that we will transfer the power to the lower level after coming to power. He said that all the stakeholders have agreed to conduct local elections and no organization is an obstacle in its way. He said that I am in favor of student politics, but avoiding the possibility of academic crisis and conflict in educational institutions, a system has to be created which can restore student politics without causing national damage. Former minister and central leader of Muslim League-Nun, Chaudhary Muhammad Saeed while speaking said that the local bodies have to be empowered politically and financially. A system should be created where elected representatives are able to generate their own resources. He suggested that a District Finance Board should be formed so that each district and village could receive direct government funding. On the basis of population, area and poverty, the government should allocate grants to districts and then district local union councils to devolve power and funds to the grassroots level. This formula can open the door to development and prosperity. PTI leader Zulfiqar Abbasi said that our villages and cities cannot be clean and orderly until their effective management system is entrusted to the elected representatives of the local government. . He said that our government is excited to hold local body elections because it is in line with Imran Khan’s political vision. Coordinator of SDGs for Azad Kashmir Syed Ali Hasnain Gilani said that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations is not possible without the establishment of a local government. He said that fortunately Azad Kashmir is ahead in achieving development goals compared to other provinces of Pakistan. People’s Party Women Wing President and Member of Assembly Nabila Ayub said that women have different problems and needs which men cannot solve. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the effective representation of women in elected positions. The low representation of women in the politics of Azad Kashmir can be compensated by increasing the representation of women at the local government level. Representation of women in local bodies should be at least 25 percent. He emphasized that political parties should give more tickets to women so that they can gain confidence and be able to participate in national level politics. There will be a nuclear change in the political and social structure. He said that at least 30 percent of the development budget should be given to the local government. He said that the local government election will prove to be a game changer. A grassroots network of political parties will be established. They will not need to create an organizational setup for the party. PPP Shaheed Bhutto leader Chaudhry Munir Hussain said that local government system means a new economic and political process that will bring positive change in our society. Senior Journalist Mohammad Shakil said that facilities like education and health come under the jurisdiction of local governments. This system can be effective only if it is empowered. Former secretary Shaukat Majeed said that for the establishment of empowered local government system, the government of Azad Kashmir, especially the MLAs, must agree on the allocation of funds. The host of the event, Dr. Waqaz Ali, while delivering the closing remarks, said that the local government can play a key role in combating the climate change that our country is facing. He said that this was the third dialogue of the CPDR and this series will continue so that the gap between the civil society and the decision-making forces is reduced. There are training centers. If the elected representatives of these bodies are given adequate powers, the wheel of development will move. APP Beaver Chief Altaf Hameed Rao said that it would have been more appropriate if the municipal elections were on a non-partisan basis. He said that people should rise above community and regional prejudices and vote on the basis of merit and character so that competent representatives can come forward. .