The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) as part of it parliamentary studies initiatives with universities held a one day Seminar on Constitution as a Social Contract, Working of Parliament and Parliament and the Youth. Hon Ms Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Special Assistant to Prime Minister and MNA graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The Seminar was held for faculty members and M Phil scholars and senior undergrad batch from Department of Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Central Punjab (UCP), Lahore. Dr. Sidra Mariyam, Assistant Professor, led the delegation which was coordinated by Mr. Muhammad Farooq, Faculty Industry Liaison Officer. The event began with National Anthem, followed by recitation of verses from Holy Quran by Qari Anees ur Rehman. Ms. Fakiha Mahmood, Deputy Director (Research) PIPS, welcomed the participants and moderated a brief introduction.

Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research), gave detailed presentation on “Constitution: guarantor of citizens’ rights and the Working of Parliament.” He highlighted the role of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a basic social contract between the state and citizens, and elaborated the main features of the Constitution. His presentation also highlighted the deeper linkages inherent among the executive as well as the parliamentary institutions and the essential functions of the Parliament – representation, oversight, legislation and overall policy review as well as guidance viz a viz budget. With the demonstration of a brief video clip he highlighted the role of the founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in making Pakistan an independent country on the political map of the world, and the sacrifice of all those who migrated from India to Pakistan following partition to make the biggest Muslim majority country. Mr Zaka reiterated the spirit of we agree to disagree and the safeguard and assurance of rights to minorities and the vulnerable without fail as the essence of Pakistan’s parliamentary democratic Constitution. Honorable Ms. Shaza Fatima Khwaja, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs/MNA, was the Chief Guest of the event. She gave an enthralling speech on “Parliament and Youth,” during the one day event.  In a highly interactive manner she highlighted the challenges Members of Parliament face during the tenure as legislator. She dispelled many false images associated with MPs, and emphasized the participants to adopt a meaningful approach towards the national issues. In her capacity as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Youth Affairs, she highlighted various youth programs designed to cater the needs of the younger population. She also highlighted the role of the Young Parliamentarians’ Forum in formulating a youth focused approach in legislation and other parliamentary functions. The event concluded with presentation of mementoes, and group photograph of the participants. A brief questions and answers session followed the individual presentations. Ms. Ayesha Tariq Khan, Assistant Director (Research) PIPS, played instrumental role in coordination of the event. Eng. Zahid Ashraf, Assistant Director (Information Technology) and Mr. Qasim, Assistant IT Officer, provided IT support. Session concluded with Pakistan Zindabad slogan by 30 participants.

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