By: Mir Behram Baloch
Quetta: Legislators from the four provincial assembly and national assembly have agreed to work together for developing a national agenda for addressing women’s rights in Pakistan. Additionally,
With the tenure of national and provincial assemblies reaching to completion in 2018, legislators also prioritised several other democratic reforms and human rights reforms which they agreed to take up before 2018 general elections. They were brought together at a parliamentary exchange jointly arranged by Democracy Reporting International (DRI) and Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in Quetta Balochistan. The reforms agreed by the visiting delegates include: enhancing citizen’s engagement elected houses, strengthening the roles of human rights institutions, increasing accountability of the government to the elected houses through increasing powers of the standing committees and introducing mandatory zero hours for the Prime Minster and Chief Minister.Acknowledging the significance of such exchange forums the delegation insisted upon all provincial assemblies, National Assembly and Senate to continue such programmes by the assemblies themselves through allocation of enough resources in their annual budgets and give the Pakistan Institutes of Parliamentary Services lead role in this regard.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms.Raheela Hameed Khan Durrani, Honourable Speaker Provincial Assembly and currently the Acting Governor of Balochistan “The exchange brings together parliamentarians from all provinces and almost all parliamentary political parties; thereby delegates represent the unity of federation. Such forums are extremely important for strengthening democracy and building provincial harmony.”
Zafarullah Khan, Executive Director PIPS highlighted the significance of such parliamentary meetings for knowledge sharing and knowing each other. He agreed to coordinate such events in future if assemblies agree upon holding them and allocate resources for such events.
Hassan Nasir Mirbahar, Country Representative of DRI in Pakistan, said that “DRI will be available to facilitate such forums in future as well if the parliamentary institutions request us”. He added that it is encouraging that parliamentary institutions are taking ownership and leadership for continuing these exchange trips.
As many as 20 delegates including legislators and assembly staffers from all four provincial assemblies, National Assemblies and PIPS took part in the exchange. This interaction provided a forum through which the elected representatives provided feedback to each other regarding important legislation passed in different houses and possibility of their replicability in other provinces.
The delegation included MaheshMilani (PPP, MPA Sindh Assembly), NusratSeharAbbasi (PML-F, MPA Sindh Assembly) , Qamar Abbas Rizvi(MQM, MPA Sindh Assembly),Mr. IftikharHussainPirzada (Deputy Secretary Sindh Assembly), AminaSardar(PMLN, MPA KP Assembly), MerajHumayon(QaumiWatan Party, MPA KP Assembly), ZareenZia (PTI MPA KP Assembly) Attaullah Khan, Special SecretaryKP Assembly, SardarShahab (PPP MPA Punjab Assembly), FarzanaNazir (PMLN MPA Punjab Assembly), MsShameela (PMLN- MPA Punjab Assembly), Tariq Mehmood Administrator Automation, Punjab Assembly, NafeesaInnayatullahKhattak (PTI MNA), Ms. Ayesha Syed (JI, MNA),ZafarUllah Khan, Executive Director PIPS and Mir ShaiMazarBalouch PIPS.
Published in The Balochistan Point on February 24, 2017