Decentralization Reforms in Pakistan During Ayub and Zia Era
Since independence federal central administrative setup i.e. concept of centralized power of administration had been the theme for Pakistan. This system was neither responsive nor participative to the people of Pakistan. As a result the resentment for this system increased with the passage of time. To address the issue, many “new” ideas were experienced both at federal and local levels, but the grudges of the public could not be minimized. The system of local government was neglected in the first decade after independence mainly because of the political instability. General Ayub Khan’s Basic Democracies system was the first step that was taken towards decentralization. This system ended with the regime itself. In Zia regime, the Local Government Ordinance of 1979 was introduced. General Ayub Khan’s Basic Democracies system was revived and implemented with a new structure. Military leadership for the sake to gain political legitimacy, planned, encouraged and institutionalized local government institution. Keeping all this in view this article presents detailed historic analysis of decentralization from the political history of Pakistan. The two major eras i.e. General Ayub Khan and General Zia-ul-Haq are analysed in the context of the decentralization and devolution reforms and their implications over the political system of Pakistan.
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