Pakistan's Devolution of Power Plan 2001: A brief dawn for local democracy?
Local government is not a new concept in Pakistan. Since the founding of the country in 1947 Pakistan has always had local governments as the lowest-tier political structure. However, grassroots democracy has been eclipsed at different times in the country’s history. As we write this article, there is no elected local government in Pakistan. The article documents the recent history of decentralisation with special reference to the Devolution of Power Plan (DOPP) introduced by the military government of General Pervez Musharraf in 2001. The author was closely involved with the DOPP at both policy and implementation levels. The paper also looks at political economy issues relating to decentralisation in Pakistan.