Report: The Local Government System in Azad Jammu & Kashmir

Dr. Waqas Ali
This report is an insightful evaluation of the significance, development and challenges to the Local Government system in AJ&K. Tracing a brief history of the Local Bodies functioning, it brings to light the process of evolution, development and finally the devolution of the Local Bodies in AJ&K. It also highlights the consequences of the absence of these democratic structures in AJ&K since 1996 primarily in terms of the weakening of democratic institutions, growing frustration and the vulnerability of the youth to radicalization. The report finally elucidates the impact of the 13th Amendment in the 1974 Act of AJ&K on the LB system and its inherent connection with inclusive development in the region.

Following the Participatory Action Research Framework, the research has been conducted by involving around 500 young people who gave their valuable feedback to be included in this research study. Sorting out the issues and challenges to the restoration of the Local Bodies in AJ&K, the present study also examines the potential of the Local Bodies to affect the human lives at the grass roots level by scrutinizing the conclusions drawn through historic analysis as well as the opinions of the young people. Besides, it also recommends having 25 percent quota for young people in political parties and at least 10 percent for the women members in the Local Bodies. The findings of this research study validate that the Local Bodies can serve as the best platform to promote democratic culture and ensure service delivery to the public.

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