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> The Pakistani Young Parliamentarians’ Delegation Study Tour to India
   
 

March 26, 2007


   

A Parliamentary Study Tour of Young Pakistani Members of Parliament to India was undertaken by PILDAT. The study tour was undertaken from March 26-31, 2007.

 
 

The major objective of the Study Tour was to provide Young Pakistani legislators with an opportunity to learn from the tools, techniques and best practices of the Indian legislative and democratic system. Since both countries – India and Pakistan – exist as post-colonial developing polities that inherited the British Parliamentary system of governance, PILDAT felt that an exchange of ideas, practises and valuable experiences will be useful.

 
 

The study tour programme, designed in the light of the above objectives, provided the delegates with an opportunity to discuss the tools, techniques and technologies which support the legislative process, understand the Indian electoral system and the role and performance of Indian electoral institution, exchange of ideas with young Indian MPs and with academics and institutions facilitating and reviewing political & legislative agenda in India.

 
 

Following Young MPs and members of the Young Parliamentarians’ Forum comprised the delegation. An effort was made to include all major parties represented in the delegation, however due to certain political preoccupations of the PML-N and PPPP, required numbers from these parties could not participate. The delegation included: Ms. Asiya Nasir, MNA, MMA; Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, MNA, MMA; Dr. Donya Aziz, MNA, PML; Senator Hafiz Rasheed Ahmed, Independent; Mr. Haroon Ihsan Piracha, MNA, PML; Mr. Nabil Ahmed Gabol, MNA, PPPP; Sayyed Bakhtiar Maani, MNA, MMA; Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi, MNA, MQM; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director, PILDAT; Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT.

 
 

The delegation had its first Group Discussion on Key Features and Rules of Procedure of the Indian Parliament with officials of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabbha. The delegation had its second Group Discussion on Key Features of the Indian Electoral System with Dr. M. S. Gill, member of Rajya sabha and former Election Commissioner of India. The next appointment of the delegation was its interaction with the Indian counterparts, the Indian Parliamentary Forum on Youth. The Forum, chaired by Mr. Naveen Jindal, MP, held detailed discussion with the Pakistani delegation of Young Parliamentarians Forum on issues of concern to youth in both countries. The Pakistani delegation had a visit to The Energy and Resource Institute – TERI, the leading environmental NGO of India. The members were briefed by TERI about its various initiatives in the areas of sustainable development and alternative energy in India. At a dinner hosted by the Director of the CSDS, the MPs had an opportunity to interact in detail with leading intellectuals and political scientists of India and discussed various issues that define Indian democracy and the Indian experience. The Pakistani delegation had a detailed interaction with the Chief Election Commissioner of India Mr. N. Gopalaswami and the Indian Election Commissioners at the Election Commission of India offices, Delhi. The delegation called upon the Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha Shri Charnjit Singh and held discussion on Indian Parliamentary rules and practices. The Pakistani delegation was given a detailed tour of the Indian Parliament and its various facilities. In yet another interaction the Pakistani delegation interacted with the faculty and students of the Centre for Political Studies, JNU. The Pakistani delegation met with the team of the PRS Legislative Research, an independent civil-society initiative in India that works on providing background research and non-partisan analysis of legislation in the Indian Parliament.