Housing Security and Related Issues: The Case of Karachi

Pakistan is a federation of four provinces. Each province has an elected provincial assembly and at the centre there is a national assembly in which every province is represented in proportion to its population. In addition, there is a senate at the centre where each province is represented equally. Every province is divided into zilas or districts and districts are divided into rural and urban tehsils or sub-districts. The tehsils are further subdivided into union councils (UCs) which are the lowest administrative unit. The larger cities, which include the provincial capitals are run as city districts and subdivided into tehsils or towns and the towns into UCs. The zilas, teshils, and the UCs are headed by elected nazims and naib nazims (mayors and deputy mayors) who are elected indirectly by directly elected councillors. 33 per cent of councillor seats are reserved for women and 5 per cent for workers and peasants. There are 103 zila governments in Pakistan, 335 tehsil councils and 6,022 UCs.

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