Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with Democracy Reporting International (DRI) organized an Inter Parliamentary Exchange Visit for the Honourable Members of the four Provincial Assemblies to the National Parliament from November 13-14, 2017. Honourable Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, MNA/Member Board of Governors PIPS, chaired the inauguration session; Mr.Zafarullah Khan, ED PIPS and Mr.Hassan Mirbahar, Country representative DRI welcomed the honorable guests.
The visit provided an opportunity to the honorable members and their accompanying Secretariat Officers for sharing learning experiences as Parliamentarians from all the Houses shared their views regarding the status of Human Rights, Parliamentary Business and strategic challenges to Pakistan and Orientation to Elections Act 2017. On Day 1, the first session was jointly conducted by Former Senator, Honorable Afrasiab Khattak and Mr. Amjad Nazir who represented the Civil Society Organizations. Honorable Afrasiab Khattak spoke about the Human Rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan and Mr. Amjad Nazir spoke about the state of Human Rights in Pakistan. It was followed by a presentation by the Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Zafarullah Khan on “The Rights of Provinces and the Role of CCI in Resolving Political Differences”. During the Q&A session, it was highlighted that only political institutions could guarantee the rights of individuals and the provinces. The last session of Day 1 was dedicated to the presentations from the four Provincial Assemblies on key legislations undertaken by each House. The sessions provided an insight into the most significant role of the parliamentarians i.e., legislative initiatives. The Day 2 began with the visit of Yadgar-e-Shuhada (Monument of Unsung Heroes) and Dastoor Gali in the Parliament House, followed by a session on Strategic Challenges faced by Pakistan. , Associate Professor Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal delievered a crisp talk about the key foreign affairs challenges and answered some burning questions from the honorable members. 2nd session of the day was an Orientation session on newly passed Elections Act 2017, jointly facilitated by Mr. Zafarullah Khan Executive Director PIPS and Mr. Hassan Nasir Mirbahar, Country Representative DRI, who briefed the honorable members about the significant highlights of the Act and also the challenges posed. Both the speakers appreciated the Elections Act as an evidence of political will for bringing transparency in electioneering process. The last session of the day was on Pakistan’s Social and Economic Indicators, facilitated by the panel comprising of renowned Economist Dr. Pervez Tahir and Advisor DFID Mr. Javed Malik, who provided an insight into the key social and economic indicators for strengthening oversight process by the honorable members.
The exchange visit ended with feedback from the participants and a farewell note by the Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Zafarullah Khan and Mr. Hassan Nasir Mirbahar, Country Representative DRI.