Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) with the support of EU-Mustehkam Parlimaan Project and GIZ organized 2nd National Training of Trainers Workshop on Parliamentary Studies from 18th to 20th October, 2023 attended by around 55 participants including 40 faculty members from universities around all federating units of Pakistan as well as the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi in addition to learned Members of Parliament and parliamentary experts of the country.

Day 1- Inaugural Session: The day commenced with the National Anthem and recitation of verses of the Holy Quran by Qari Anis ur Rehman. The session was moderated by Ms. Tehseen Khalid Director (Research), where the participants introduced themselves and shared their expectations with the workshop.  Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director PIPS, delivered the welcome address and ensured the participants that PIPS will try to meet their expectations as shared in the round of introductions. Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) shared the three key program objectives to set the context of the 3-day national ToT. He informed that since the start of parliamentary studies in 2015, PIPS has successfully held 70 orientation sessions, one national ToT in 2017, provided internships to over 250 students, supervised researches on Parliament, produced over 1800 research papers and organized an international conference with more than 11,000 youth across the country discussing “Parliament, Constitution and State Building.” In this context, he shared that this advanced level 2nd National ToT on Parliamentary Studies for Faculty members and parliamentary experts, endeavours:

  1. To review, promote and consolidate the teaching of parliamentary studies courses in social science and law degree/s in Pakistan;
  2. The National ToT will encourage faculty to supervise Research thesis and papers on various aspects of the working of Parliament;
  3. ToT will help consolidate a Network of MPs, academicians and parliamentary experts all over the country who can inculcate the democratic values of “we agree to disagree,” and “unity of diversity,” as envisioned by the Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the founding father of Pakistan.
  4. The ToT has been designed in a way that it will enable faculty members to contribute in reiterating inclusivity, national cohesion and responsible citizenship amongst our youth.
  5. ToT will streamline the promotion of courses on parliamentary studies in universities and law schools.

The session concluded with the Group Photo.

The second session, moderated by Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) titled: ‘Meet the Member Parliament- Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy: Challenges and Way Forward’. Honorable Senator Farhatullah Babar and Honorable Senator Mushtaq Ahmed graced the session with their knowledge on Parliamentary Democracy. Senator Farhat Ullah Babar complimented the PIPS efforts in commencing and consolidating the Parliamentary Studies initiative that has helped introduce courses in 20 universities around Pakistan. PIPS has played an imperative role of connecting people and the Parliament. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed highlighted how effective working of the Parliament always keep the executive in check so that it delivers to the people on state-responsibilities.

The Third session titled ‘Legislative Process at glance: Practitioners Perspective’ started after the lunch break, which was moderated by Mr. Hanif Nasar, Deputy Director Research. Panelist Mr. Sheikh Sarfraz Ahmed discussed the legislative process, whereas Mr. Mohsin Abbas talked on assessing legislation. He emphasized the need to assess laws to see that they are able to be means of reforms of social behaviour in the society. Laws must be drafted in plain and clear language so that people understand and follow them.

The fourth session ‘Working of Parliamentary Committees’, was moderated by Ms. Fakiha Mahmood, Deputy Director Research, which shared insightful analysis of parliamentary committees, their types and authority to undertake scrutiny of laws, administrative measures, policies and budget-spending of ministries by the Parliament. Mr. Iftikhar Ullah Babar delivered a detail power point presentation on the working of parliamentary committees, their recommendatory role and achievements in taking up people-centre accountability of the executive. Honorable Senator Taj Haider also focused his discussion on the working of committees, where he shared absorbing anecdotes on working of committees and how they undertake oversight of executive that brings relief to the public through cross-party scrutiny of the ministries concerned.

Day 2: The second day started with the recap of the first day explained by Prof. Dr. Shuja Ahmed Mahesar from University of Sindh Jamshoro, and Prof. Dr. Rehana Saeed Hashmi from University of Punjab. The title of the fifth session of the workshop was ‘Political System and Role of Parliament’, which was explained in detail by key note speaker Prof. Dr. Syed Jaffer Ahmad from Sohail University, Karachi. He was presented the PIPS book on all provincial laws by Mr Fahd Amin, Lecturer, QAU and Mr Abdul Nabi Solangi, Deputy Director (Legislation) on behalf of Research wing PIPS.

Dr. Mehboob Ahmed from Punjab University, Dr. Ghulam Mustafa from GCU Faisalabad and Mr. Zubair Safdar from Riphah University threw light on the topic ‘Parliamentary Studies: Issues and Challenges’. Mr. Muhammad Rizwan Manzoor, Assistant Director Research, moderated this absorbing session that earmarked the following recommendations:

  1. PIPS Team Research to continue provision of publications and sessions with universities in Islamabad.
  2. Faculty members proposed that they will invite Team PIPS to hold orientation sessions on Constitutionalism and working of Parliament at the universities.
  3. Faculty will assign Students Research papers in social science and law disciplines on Parliamentary Themes.
  4. Assessing Legislation and Drafting may also be introduced by universities.
  5. Ways to promote internships and employment of students opting for parliamentary studies at the NA, Senate, provincial legislatures and PIPS.
  6. In case of need by a university, PIPS to coordinate with HEC to promote the parliamentary studies and provide support to universities.

Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director delivered a key note address in the sixth session titled ‘Parliamentary Oversight through Non-Legislative Tools: Process and Purpose’. In the afternoon, the visit to National Assembly and Senate Halls and Parliamentary Museum was organized. Syed Waqar Abbas Shah, Director Admin arranged the visit for the host Research wing. In the evening, a networking dinner at Monal Restaurant for participants as well as organizers was arranged.

Day 3: The third day started with the recap of second day, which was explained by Prof. Dr. Ghulam Akbar Mahesar from University of Sindh Jamshoro and Ms. Zoya Shaffay from Kinnaird College Lahore. The seventh session of workshop was titled as Public Finance and Budget Cycle, moderated by Mr. Aizaz Asif. He discussed about the Public Finance. Mr. Muhammad Adnan Azeem explained Budget Cycle and Budget Books whereas Dr. Waseem Shahid discussed about the Economy of Pakistan.

The eighth session titled ‘Contemporary Issues and Parliament’ was moderated by Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research). Honorable former MNA Ms. Shahida Rehmani explained the Women Parliamentary Caucus: Role of Women in Parliamentary Democracy. Mr. Zafarullah Khan discussed the Human Rights with respect to Parliament.

Ms. Tehseen Khalid, Director Research moderated the certificate award ceremony of the Workshop. The focal person of Parliamentary Studies program Mr Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) presented on behalf of PIPS leadership, the vote of thanks to learned facilitators, the participants from QAU Deptt of Law, SZABIST Karachi, Sohail University Karachi, University of Sindh Jamshoro, University of Baluchistan, Quetta, BUITEMS Quetta, BZU Multan, University of Punjab Lahore, Bahria University, University of Gujrat, Riphah International University Rwp, School of Public Policy RIU, NUST, GCU Faisalabad, University of Sargodha, Kinnaird College University, Lahore. Kinnaird College University, Lahore, University of Peshawar and Islamic College University, Peshawar as well as participants from PIPS legislation and IT wings and EU MuP. PIPS Research wing hosted the three-day national ToT on Parliamentary Studies. The Dir Gen (Research) also thanked EU MuP team led by Mr Aizaz, Ms Faiza and Mr Shabbir Ahmed, PIPS IT and Admn. Wings for their keen support and PIPS library for services along with all Research wing officers in making the event a rousing success. He made special mention of Mr Muhammad Rizwan Manzoor, Ms Fakiha Mahmood and Ms Ayesha Tariq Khan AD Research for their hardwork to make the event a memorable success. The day three ended with the certificate award ceremony presided by Hon. Ms. Shahida Rehmani, former MNA. She eulogized the remarkable initiative of PIPS in organizing this nation-wide ToT with galaxy of university professors teaching courses in parliamentary studies. The PIPS Research and Library wing also distributed sets of its publications including Members Handbook, Youth Guide Discover the Parliament of Pakistan and the Provincial Laws of Pakistan 1820-2020 with all participants.

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