A two-day Orientation programme was held in the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services for the interns of the National Assembly of Pakistan on July 4-5, 2019. The programme commenced with the recitation of Holy Quran. The Executive Director PIPS, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka welcomed the vibrant youth of the country on behalf of the Pakistan Institute for the Parliamentary Services. This programme was attended by 130 interns and was moderated by Ms. Nayab Abeer, Young Parliamentary Officer, PIPS Parliamentary Development Programme.
Honourable Syed Fakhar Imam, Member National Assembly, graced the occasion as chief guest on Thursday, July 4, 2019. He gave a detailed account of the political and constitutional history of Pakistan. Moreover, he highlighted the role of Parliament, comprising the National Assembly, the Senate and the President of Pakistan. Along with legislation, National Assembly has the authority to impose taxation in the country because as the authority to pass money bills and make budget for the institutions of Pakistan rested with National Assembly only.
Justice (R) Muhammad Raza Khan highlighted the working and importance of Parliament. He called Parliamentary Legislature is the most important institution of the country and focused on the functions of Parliament i.e. to legislate, oversee and make budget for the country’s institutions.
Mr. Zafrullah Khan, Parliamentary Expert, put emphasis on the nature of fundamental rights that Constitution guarantees and it enables the citizens bind themselves with the state. Finally he encouraged youth to gather themselves under the umbrella of Constitution and increase communication with the Parliament.
Ms. Marvi Sirmed gave a detailed account of “Parliamentary Democracy and the Right to Vote”. In her session, she emphasized the importance of democracy as called it the best form of government. She further narrated that; the Parliamentary form of democracy is based on the trichotomy of power, which includes; Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Parliament does not only legislate in the country but also oversees the performance of Executive with the help of Parliamentary Committees.
Mr. Iftikharullah Babar, former Secretary, the Senate of Pakistan gave detailed account for the Parliamentary etiquette and discipline and stated that etiquettes are the conventional rules of social behavior or professional conduct. He instructed participants that, in the parliament everyone should wear formal dress while on duty, maintain personal hygiene, have respectful style of communication, must be familiar with the Constitution and Rules of Procedure, be punctual and ought to be polite in nature.
On second day, Mr. Muhammad Mushtaq, Additional Secretary, National Assembly Secretariat, described the Legislative Procedure of the Parliament which included generation and passing of the bill in both the Houses (except money bill which was only passed by National Assembly) and its assent by the President of the state. He explained to the participants about the difference between Law, Ordinance and Act. In the end, he gave a brief overview about the business of the House and authority of Prime Minister and President in the state.
Mr. Qamar Sohail Lodhi, Special Secretary, National Assembly Secretariat, emphasized on the functions that were exercised by the National Assembly which included; Elective Functions, Law Making (Drafting Bills), Oversight( Question, Calling Attention, Motion, Adjournment Motion, Point of Order, Zero Hour), Privilege, Resolutions, Committee System( Standing, Special, Select PAC, Functional…) and finally Constitutional Reports.
Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Executive Director PIPS and Ms. Tehseen Khalid, Deputy Director Research, PIPS gave an overview on Parliamentary Research and the working of PIPS as country’s exclusive research and training facility. During this orientation, the participants learned about the different types of Research support for Parliamentarians. In the end, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka and Director General (PDP & IT) Ms. Samer Awais distributed the certificates among the interns of the National Assembly and the programme ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Samer Awais, Director General (PDP & IT) PIPS.