Enthralling All Pakistan Declamation Contest on Constitution and People’s Rights, Monday, 17 April 2023

The National Assembly of Pakistan in close cooperation of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) held an enthralling “Final Round of all Pakistan Declamation Contest” to commemorate the Golden jubilee of the Constitution of Pakistan (1973-2023) at PIPS Auditorium on April 17, 2023. The Honorable Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Speaker of the National Assembly/President of the PIPS BoG, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest in a closely competitive contest in a packed auditorium with galaxy of over 160 participants comprising, members of Parliament, students from all federating units of Pakistan, faculty members of public sector, private sector and madrassah schools as well as parents and members of civil society.

The event brought together the faculty members and students from different Schools from all the four provinces, including students from Government Girls High School, Quetta; Islamabad Model School for Girls, Islamabad; Islamia College, Peshawar; Government High School, Dinah, Haripur; Ittehad ul Madaris, Rawalpindi; Board of Islamic Education Jamia Muhammadia Shikarpuri Gate, Bahawalpur; Lahore School System; Lawrence College Murree; Karachi Public School; International Islamic University, Islamabad School; Peshawar Model School; The City School, E-11 and H-12 Campus Islamabad; Government Girls High School, Johal Memorial Rawalpindi; Government Girls Comprehensive Higher Secondary School; Government Boys Secondary School, Kal Board, Karachi and DHA Phase 7 Karachi.

The event began with recitation of verses from Holy Quran, followed by the National Anthem of Pakistan.  The Honorable Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Speaker of the National Assembly/President of the PIPS BoG, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. On behalf of the Parliament of Pakistan, the Honorable Raja Pervaiz Ashraf welcomed all the participants and students for attending the declamation contest celebrating the Golden jubilee of the Constitution of Pakistan. Honourable Members of the National Assembly Ms. Asiya Azeem and Ms. Shahida Rehmani as well as Honourable Senator Mr. Farhatullah Babar also graced the occasion who were welcomed by Executive Director PIPS Mr Muhammad Anwar.

Honourable Ms. Asiya Azeem, Member National Assembly of Pakistan and Convener of the NA sub committee on holding NA ALL Pakistan Declamation context on the aupices occasion to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Constitution of Pakistan, reiterated that the participation of students from public sector schools at federal and provincial level, madrassa students and private institutions in this Celebration of the golden Jubilee of the Constitution that started on April 10, 2023 is historic. She congratulated the 21 finalists from inter board competitions on the imperative theme MY CONSTITUTION PROTECTOR OF MY RIGHTS. She appreciated the tireless efforts and spiritually motivational speeches by the contestants of the declamation. She also eulogized the professional services of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services PIPS that provides quality services not only to members of Pakistan’s Parliaments but it is recognised internationally as well as a centre of excellence in parliamentary research and analysis. She expressed her gratitude to NA and PIPS teams in excellent organisation of the event.

Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, founding Member and Director General of PIPS welcomed the participants and presented an overview of the rules for speech contest. In Each participant student was allowed 3 to 5 minutes of speech and the judges would give marks based content, pronunciation and delivery of speech, all carrying equal marks and the highest aggregate marks will be given declared of winners. Zaka also announced that PIPS has launched a special publication Discover the Parliament of Pakistan – Youth Guide that tells students of how the Parliament works to unite the people by ensuring rights to all without any discrimination. Mr Zaka thanks the NA team, PIPS Research, IT and Admn wing for coordinated efforts to make the declamation contest a memorable one.

In total 21 students orators from all the Schools presented their speeches. They expressed that our constitution provides a pool of freedoms and fundamental rights to its citizens and gives the message of sympathy. It came into existence on the 10th April 1973. The participants expressed that the Constitution of Pakistan unanimously recognizes Allah the Almight as the sovereign of Pakistan and the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet be encouraged and practiced in the country. They reiterated that the constitution is the supreme law of the country which encourages fraternity, democracy, federalism and social justice as underline principles of the State of Pakistan.

They participants recognised that the Constitution and laws are important to cater for the changing circumstances we face overtime, since the human evolution process is constant and perpetual. They expressed that the laws has been there in existence since human existence. The Almighty creator issued laws for humans from the time they have ever come into existence. They expressed that in our country the parliament is solely responsible to make laws for its people. Our constitution captures the injunctions and laws of Islam to be implemented and practice in the country. It was expressed that the law of jungle prevails where there are no laws and only well-defined laws give freedom and rights to the people. Our constitution gives rights and protects women, children, disabled, and vulnerable. Our constitution is a body of fundamental rights and according to which the state, its institutions and judiciary is to be governed. It paves way to sense of equality, freedom of movement, freedom of trade, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to practice any religion, right of education and compulsory education to children in the country. They reiterated that constitution will not protect us if we do not protect our constitution and in order to protect our freedoms we must equally protect our constitution. That Article 9 ensures every citizen have right to live with dignity, Article 11 prohibits any kind of force labour, Article 23 ensures women are given equal protection and rights.

In his closing remarks, Honourable Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf appreciated that national spirit of unity as highlighted by all student-orators in their speeches and said that it proves that our future is protected and are in safe hands. He said that the Constitution was conceived on 10th April 1973 and that there also had been constitutions adopted prior to it but they did not suffice mainly due to one the reasons being week democratic system in the country. He said that back in the days merely 80,000 people were allowed to vote comprising 40,000 each from east and west Pakistan and the rest of the 9 crore population were ignored and disallowed from voting. Then later adult franchise was introduced by the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, giving right to everyone to vote and the entire population were asked to vote and be part of the democratic process in choosing their rightful candidatures to represent them in the parliament. He said that our constitution today binds 23 crore people together. It was made with all consensuses as it had to withstand till the end of days till Pakistan remains.  

The Speaker said that respecting our Constitution is also respecting its people. He also reiterated that the Parliament is the mother of all institutions which produces and regulates all institutions through laws and amendments. He graced the committee members and organizers for arranging this event and he also graced the teachers and parents of all the students with their fulfilling and powerful speeches. He requested the teachers and students to learn more and teach about the Constitution and about how does our Parliament works to unite the people by ensuring them provision of rights of education, health, freedoms and prosperity. In the end he said that we must all respect each other and maintain highest level of morals. The better our morals the more we succeed, he said. Chaudhary Azeem, Chief Judge of the declamation contest, announced the results of the student’s orators. He expressed that all students gave excellent speeches and wished that he or his generation could give speeches like that filled with knowledge and he said that our bright future could be seen clearly through today’s event. He expressed that the today’s generation will lead us to the light that was foreseen by our forefather. He wished that students that come first be given opporuntiy to deliver speech in the hall of the National Assembly. First prize was won by Ms. Mariha Masoof from Government Girls High School, Quetta, Second prize went to Mr. Haider Ali from Lawrence College Murree, the third price to Ms. Saleha from Islamabad Model School for Girls and two consolation prices were given to Ms. Shahzad Noor from City School Capita; Campus Islamabad and Zainab Hussain from International Islamic university Islamabad School. In the end, Honourable Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf distributed the Certificates to the orator students which attended the declamation, and upon announcement of winners of the contest, shields were distributed among the winner orators. He expressed his appreciation for NA and PIPS teams working tirelessly to hold the event in the leadership of Ms Asiya Azeem MNA. The group photo was taken with all the participants and session concluded with the slogan PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

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