National Constitution Day Seminar

“Pakistan’s constitution is imperative for country’s federalism as it holds the key to protect the rights of every citizen, irrespective of his religion, caste, creed, sex or physical appearance and allows all cultures of federating units to blossom in a national synthesis – a Pakistani culture that reflects unity in diversity,” it was stated by Honourable Chairman Senate of Pakistan at the occasion of “2nd annual Seminar on National Constitution Day” on April 10, 2015 held at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services. 

The objective of the seminar was to develop awareness of the Constitution, its importance and functioning of Parliament among an all-time full PIPS auditorium with over 185 participants including Members of the Parliament, functionaries of Senate and National Assembly, civil society and the youth. Students and faculty members from Quaid e Azam University, Fatimah Jinnah Women University, Iqra University, International Islamic University, Ripah University, NDU, Islamabad Model College for boys G 6/3, Islamabad Model College for Girls F 7/2, Beacon House School Margala Campus and Roots Millennium School I-9 Islamabad not only attended the seminar, but 13 of them also participated in a debate competition to exchange their views on the theme – Constitution, Parliament and Peace Building. 

Renowned parliamentarians including Senator and former Speaker provincial assembly of Sindh, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Ch Mahmood Bashir Virk (MNA and Chairperson Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights) and Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Deputy Chairman, Senate, spoke as key note speakers at the august occasion to familiarize the youth with the concept of constitution as framework of the state and other relevant concepts through their key note speeches and by sharing their personnel experiences. Mr Amjed Pervez, Secretary Senate, also attended the function. Proceedings began with the National Anthem and recitation of verses from the Holy Quran by Hafiz Anees. Mr Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, PIPS Director Research and IT welcomed the honourable Chairman Senate, MPs and dignitaries from Senate, National Assembly and faculty members. 
Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah congratulated PIPS on holding the seminar on Constitution Day to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the historic day of 10th April, 1973, when the National Assembly of Pakistan signed the unanimous Constitution of Pakistan. The Senator apprised students that Constitution enshrines trichotomy of powers among Legislature, Executive and Judicature and it ensures rule of law in the country. Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah emphasized students to understand, love and respect their Constitution, which enshrines fundamental rights of every Pakistani. He acknowledged the vision of Prime Minister Z A Bhutto in building the unanimous Constitution in 1973. 
Ch Mahmood Bashir Virk, MNA, emphasized that Constitution is a sacred document that is manifestation of sacrifices made by Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the 3 million people who created the world’s largest muslim state in 1947. He elaborated that in accordance with the vision of our founding fathers Pakistan is an Islamic, federal and welfare state with parliamentary democratic system and sovereignty of Allah. He stressed students to concentrate on their education and always respect the consensus Constitution so that no one can dare abrogate or put it in abeyance. Ch Mahmood Bashir Virk also told students to remember that there are many of the fellow students who do not enjoy the same facilities so we must all work hard to make Pakistan a prosperous united country of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. 

In his welcome remarks, PIPS Executive Director Mr Mehmood Salim Mehmood noted that Constitution remains milestone viz a viz commencement of pluralistic parliamentary democracy in Pakistan as envisioned by our founding fathers and as aspired by the great Pakistani Nation. He stated, “We are delighted that today’s event is presided over by Honourable Mian Raza Rabbani who is a beacon light of core values of pluralism, democracy, federalism and human rights. He is also the President of PIPS Board of Governors, who has always inspired PIPS with the vision to involve the youth in our outreach activities. In this context, recently we conducted two seminars on Constitution, Parliament and State Building with the college as well as university students of Multan, Bahawalpur and Lodhran. Today’s event is also a humble effort in bringing our youth together with parliamentarians to highlight and celebrate our consensus Constitution, which is a source of unity and strength among all of us.” 
Deputy Chairman Senate of Pakistan Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri eulogized the efforts of great leaders like Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mufti Mehmood who worked in unison to build up an unprecedented consensus for the 1973 Constitution that remains the most unanimous social contract between the State and its citizens. 

Honourable Chairman Senate of Pakistan Mian Raza Rabbani congratulated the Executive Director and academic faculty of PIPS for holding such a memorable 2nd annual seminar on the 42nd National Constitution Day. He made an inspiring presidential speech that enthralled the audience as a brimming auditorium including students from 10 top educational institutions were spell bound and applauded the guiding deliberations, which focused on key concepts of Pakistan’s consensus Constitution i.e federalism, provincial autonomy, human rights, unity in diversity, a national Pakistani culture that reflects synthesis of local centuries old culture and traditions practiced in our federating units. 

He emphasized the need for a pro-active approach without any further delay by all Chief Ministers of the provinces to implement the provisions of 18th Constitutional Amendment that can bring true fruits of provincial autonomy to enhance service delivery to the masses and improve provision of necessities and living standards of all citizens without any discrimination. The Chairman Senate of Pakistan warned that the federation can neither sustain nor tolerate any misadventure of abrogating the consensus Constitution of Pakistan by any usurper from the establishment. He inspired students to be aware of their role as future leaders of the country to understand, respect and safeguard the Constitution, which will perpetually strengthen the state and peace in the country. 
Honourable Chairman Senate of Pakistan presented the PIPS Constitution Day Mementoes to key note speakers Deputy Chairman Senate, Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, MNAs Ch Mehmood Bashir Virk and Ms Maiza Hameed. Executive Director presented the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services sovernior to the Honourable Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani to conclude the inaugural session of the seminar. 
A galaxy of Parliamentarians including Senator Tahir Hussain Mashadi, Ms Maiza Hameed MNA, Senator Muhammad Khan Niazi and former Senator Dr Saeeda Iqbal also participated in the event. The Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Mehmood Salim Mehmood concluded the event by distributing prizes among the winners of the speech competition contested by 13 participants from the 10 institutions. Mr Muzaffar Ali Mahar, Director HR and F and Chief Judge for the contest announced the results. 

Ms Faruzan A Butt of the IMCG F 7/2 secured the first position, Mr Fahd Amin of International Islamic University achieved the second position while Mr Mohammad Shahzeb from Iqra University got the third and Ms Naima Binte Shahab from Fatimah Jinnah Women University got the consolation prize in the declamation contest titled Constitution, Parliament and Peace Building. Mr Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director Research and IT, was the master of the ceremony, who concluded the seminar with the word of thanks for the Chief Guest and all participants. The event concluded with a national song by Raja Feroze Sadiq from WWF that captivated the audience and slogan Pakistan Zindabad by all participants brought renewed zeal to work, work and work for Pakistan. 

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