This position paper provides a historical overview of changing patterns of governance in Lahore. It particularly highlights how after the decline of Mughal rule the city’s lost glory was revived and restored with the rise and consolidation of Sikh Rule (1799-1849). Lahore, once again suffered but with the annexation of Punjab by the British in 1849, the fortunes of the city once again changed. The study traces the politico-legal frameworks of governance and institutional foundations of contemporary Lahore from colonial rule. Thus making a pertinent point that whereas the socio-cultural traditions of the city are rooted in its history and reveal resilience of culture and people, the institutions of governance are a legacy of colonial rule. These are placed in the context of local government and provincial laws that the British constructed and the institutions that they created. The study analyses the evolution of local government laws and institutions and how they have continued to impact the formulation of 1979, 2001 and 2013 ordinances and acts. Making a critical appraisal of these ordinances/acts the study reminds the readers and policy makers that while formulating these laws, the policy makers did make little efforts to pull together the stakeholders. Thus the institutions of governance that emerged from these ordinances/acts could neither win the credibility nor the ownership of the ordinary citizens.