The Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) and the National Assmebly of Pakistan, organised a five-day orientation programme on the “Constitutional Framework of Pakistan and the Role of Legislators” from August 15 to 19, 2022 at PIPS campus Islamabad. Additional Secretary, National Assembly Secretariat, Mr. Syed Shamoon Hashmi proposed to educate the young Afghan university students receiving scholarships under Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program (HSSP) on democracy to strengthen their democratic skills. The objective was to enable the Afghan HSSP scholarship holders to have a better understanding of the constitutional framework of Pakistan and provide them with exposure and knowledge of the democratic structure of Pakistan.
The programme commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran and the introduction of the participants by Ms. Mariam Ahsan, Deputy Director, Parliamentary Development Programme (PDP), PIPS. Ms. Samer Awais, Director General, Parliamentary Development Programme & Coordination (PDP & C), gave an overview of the orientation to the participants where she stressed on the importance to learn to unlearn and relearn new knowledge for personal improvement, and a better future. In his opening remarks, Resident Representative HSF Pakistan, Dr. Steffen Kudella, emphasized the need to strengthen the democratic skills of Afghan students to enable them better understand their social multiplier roles for regional stability. The Executive Director, PIPS, Mr. Muhammad Anwar welcomed all the participants while briefing them about the organizational structure and the working nature of PIPS. He also praised the positive and productive collaboration of PIPS, HSF, and National Assembly for the capacity-building of the young Afghan university students. This was followed by a session on Democracy: The Powers, Limitations, and Accountability of a Government by Mr. Ali Imran, Democratic Governance Expert.
The five-day orientation was divided into multiple sessions on Constitution, Legislative and Non-Legislative Buisness, Committees, Parliamentary Research Products, Emerging Parliamentary Forums and a motivational session on Paradigm Shift. These sessions were delivered by eminent government officials and experts from civil societies and academia. A visit to the Parliament was also arranged where the participants got the chance to see the National Assembly of Pakistan, Museum, Session hall and Secretariats of different parliamentary forums like SDGs and Women Caucus. During the visit, the Honourable Member National Assembly of Pakistan, Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam held an interactive session with the Interns on the topic “A day in the Life of a Legislator”. She highlighted the challenges, role and responsibilities’ a Parliamentarian faces in their day to day working. The Orientation programme concluded on 19th August, 2022 and participants were awarded certificate by the respected Director General, PDP & C, PIPS, Ms. Samer Awais. In her closing remarks, Ms. Awais congratulated the participants and emphasized on the concept of social multiplier. She further said that now we are becoming global citizens and obligation of global citizens is not restricted to boundaries of one’s own country but globally. She also appreciated the efforts of PIPS and HSF teams on successful completion of the programme.