Islamabad: 7th Sept., 2023: The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) organizes outreach events for students enrolled in higher education institutions of Pakistan, in order to engage youth in parliamentary activities and inculcate democratic norms in future leaders. In line with this tradition, the Institute organized a day-long “Seminar on Constitution and Working of Parliament” at its Main Campus in Islamabad for students and faculty members of the Department of History & Pakistan Studies, University of Gujrat, to commemorate the Defence Day celebrations in the country. Dr. Qurat-ul-Ain, Assistant Professor, led the delegation, which comprised of more than 55 students enrolled in MPhil and BS programs and faculty members. The Seminar commenced at 11 am with National Anthem of Pakistan followed by Recitation of verses from Holy Quran by Qari Anees and Naat-e-Rasool (Peace be upon Him) by Ms. Warda Kazmi. Ms. Fakiha Mahmood, Deputy Director (Research) PIPS, welcomed the participants and moderated the event.
Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) PIPS, conducted session on “CONSTITUTION AND NATION-BUILDING, and THE ROLE OF CAUCUSES.” A member of the team which laid the foundations of this premier Parliamentary Institution, Mr. Zaka began with a comprehensive introduction of the Institute including the main functions and role of various wings within the organization. Moreover, he shared the standards & hallmarks of parliamentary research and presented a snapshot of PIPS accomplishments over the course of more than a decade including successful publication of various research papers and books of parliamentary significance. Parliamentary caucuses such as the WPC, SGDs Taskforce, and YPF have acquired greater salience over the past few years due to their role in enhancing parliamentary performance in the relevant subject. Mr. Zaka apprised the participants about the role and functions of major parliamentary caucuses working in the national parliament. He also shed light on the linkage between parliamentary caucuses and PIPS, besides highlighting the recognition of PIPS as international center of excellence. He ended his presentation with reiteration of vision of founding father of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to make this country a welfare state where well-being of ordinary citizens will be the top most priority.
Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director PIPS, gave detailed presentation on “WORKING OF PARLIAMENT: LEGISLATIVE AND NON-LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS.” He welcomed the participants on behalf of the President PIPS Board of Governors, Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan. The Preamble of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan which comprises of the Objectives Resolution unequivocally set out the philosophical parameters of relationship between the state and citizens in terms of governance. The idea is that sovereignty belongs to Allah and state authority should be exercised by chosen representatives of the people. This idea makes the core of parliamentary authority in Pakistan. After clear enunciation of the philosophical foundations of parliamentary authority, Mr. Anwar shared the detailed functions of the members of parliament and major legislative and non-legislative business in practice. Among the functions of members of parliament, he shed light on legislation, representation, oversight and policy guideline. Sharing his experiences acquired through nearly four decades of illustrious service in the Senate of Pakistan, he explained the classes of the business of House including government business, private members’ business, as well as the business of the legislatures. He also elaborated legislative and non-legislative business besides highlighting the significance of parliamentary tools/devices such as question hour, question of privilege, calling attention notice, adjournment motion, resolutions, and zero hour. Parliamentary committees play lead role in oversight function, Mr. Anwar shared the working and significance of parliamentary committees in legislative bodies of Pakistan.
His presentation was followed by brief interactive questions and answers session which enabled students to raise questions on topical significance. Mr. Mushtaque Ali Abbasi, Lecturer/Program Coordinator, presented remarks on behalf of the Head of Delegation University of Gujrat. He expressed gratitude towards PIPS management especially the PIPS Research wing for hosting such a comprehensive seminar on such pertinent topic and resolved to continue bilateral engagements between the two institutions in future including the signing of MoU. Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director PIPS, presented sets of PIPS books to the delegation. The event concluded at 3 pm with vote of thanks and group photograph.