The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with the Ripah International University held an Int’ll Researchers Conference on Islamic Perspectives on Urban Management and Governance on 29th September, 2022. No less than 30 academic researchers and experts read papers on the theme from different universities from all federating units of Pakistan and brotherly country of Malaysia. The conference was attended by over 150 delegates including parliamentary researchers from the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan, PIPS, legislative experts, academicians and MPhil and PhD students from the disciplines of political science, public policy, social sciences, Islamic studies, humanities and international relations.

Inaugural Session: The proceedings commenced by the national anthem. Qari Anis ur Rehman recited verses from the Holy Quran in the inaugural session. Prof Dr Qibla Ayaz, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology was the Guest of Honour; Dr Anis Ahmed, VC, Ripah International University presented the key note address while Mr Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director presented the Welcome remarks for the worthy panelists, experts and delegates of the conference. Ms Tehseen Khalid, Director (Research) PIPS moderated the opening and closing sessions.

Mr Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director PIPS expressed the hope that learned experts and senior students of social sciences will provide the parliamentary researchers and academicians a much-needed keen opportunity to oversee and develop policy and legislative instruments in urban governance from an Islamic perspective. He encouraged researchers, librarians and legislative experts from parliamentary institutions to utilize the participation in this event to elucidate and develop papers for parliamentarians and committees so as to provide them with the technical assistance on various aspects of contemporary urban governance.

Dr Tahir Hijazi reiterated that every government and state has to focus its primary responsibility to ensure food security, education, health and housing for all. Dr Anis Ahmed stressed the central role of Mosque as key to socio-economic and political life as all offices were in circles surrounding the mosque; He deliberated the example of Cairo that was built in similar manner with a city wall, a fort in circles around the Mosque at the Centre. Dr Anis also reiterated the need to revive Urdu language as the national dialect for intellectual progress of majority.

Dr Qibla Ayaz, emphasized that local economies remained key in an Islamic society where they setup their indigenous system of clean drinking water, wall of city and entrances to protect against external threats; crops, forest cover and orchards: as well as cottage industry where everyone earned their living.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS: There were three simultaneous breakout sessions on various sub topics of the conference. Mr Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) PIPS, chaired the session on urban management and development. He shared the vision of the father of Nation Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who earmarked protection of life, faith and property of the people especially the poor as the primary responsibility of the State and the Government. He chose democracy and consultative decision making as the system of governance in Pakistan through the elected representatives in the Parliament having all the authority as well as the grave responsibility to deliver to the people. Mr Zaka also stated that the 1940 Pakistan Resolution passed in Lahore clearly promised socio-economic, cultural and political freedoms of non-Muslims in consultation with them in Pakistan. It is imperative that Pakistan develops its own socio-political order as envisioned by the founding fathers that promises basic fundamental rights of education, health and all freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, which the state must deliver in all circumstances to all inhabitants.

Dr Waleed Rasool was key note panelist who emphasized the need for water conservation and creation of small dams within every city to capture rain water and develop sources of irrigation and clean drinking water. Dr Faizan Ahmed identified peace for all as the core value through freedom for minorities and unity in the society that the Misaq e Medina aimed to achieve in the first Islamic State.  Mr Muhammad Rizwan Manzoor, Assistant Director (Research) PIPS moderated this session.

Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali, Deptt. Of Usuluddin & Comparative Religion, IIUM, Malaysia, spoke as the key note speaker on Islamic Perspective of Urban and Human Development while Dr Zahid Anwar, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean Social Sciences, University of Peshawar, chaired the session.

The concluding ceremony involved presentation of Mementoes by Dr Zahid Anwar, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean Social Sciences, University of Peshawer and Mr Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) PIPS, to the scholars who presented their papers in the conference. Ms Tehseen Khalid, Director (Research) PIPS moderated the concluding session in the PIPS auditorium packed with 150 delegates from all over Pakistan.

Dr Atiquz Zafar Dean (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities FSSH at Ripah), and Mr Muhammad Nazir Khan Director General (I.T), PIPS presented certificates to 150 conference delegates including parliamentary researchers from the National Assembly, Senate and PIPS as well as academicians from across numerous universities of the country. Dr Atiquz Zafar presented the vote of thanks on behalf of Ripah International University recognizing the selfless services of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in flourishing parliamentary studies amongst the academia, general public as well as students of law, political sciences, social sciences, public policy and international relations. He also thanked Dr Anis Ahmed VC Ripah University for the mentorship of such initiatives of research to organize an international conference as well as setting up a unique topic.

Mr Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka Director General (Research) PIPS eulogized the efforts of the Ripah University for ensuring diversity and inclusion of scholars from universities based in all federating units of the country for presenting their papers in this imperative and unique conference. However, he expressed the hope that emphasizes on empirical methodology for data-based analysis must be enhanced to refine the scholastic contribution in the discipline of social sciences in future. He thanked the delegate scholars, the Ripah International University and the Team Research, IT and Admn of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services especially Mr Atiq us Zafar Dean (FSSH Ripah), Dr Inam ur Rehman, (FIS) and Mr Kashif Zaheer AP, (Ripah Institute of Public Policy); Ms Tehseen Khalid (Director Research) PIPS, Mr Muhammad Rizwan Manzoor AD (Research) and Mr Muhammad Nazir Khan DG (I.T) and his team for the tireless work to make the conference a memorable event. The event concluded with the slogan…Pakistan Zindabad.

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