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> Legislative Strengthening:
   Challenges and Opportunities
 
National Conference
December 21, 2002
Hotel Marriott, Islamabad


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Democratically elected parliament is the focal point of a democracy and the strength and robustness of a democracy is measured by the strength and robustness of its legislature. With the revival of democracy in Pakistan through October 2002 election, it is imperative that all societal efforts are made to strengthen the role of parliament to strengthen and sustain democracy in Pakistan.

 
 

The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency –PILDAT, in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing a Legislative Capability-building pilot project that is aimed at enhancing the legislative skills of the legislators in Pakistan.

 
 

As a part of this programme, PILDAT/UNDP organized a one-day conference on Legislative Strengthening: Challenges & Opportunities on Saturday, December 21, 2002, at 9:30 am at Hotel Marriott, Islamabad.

 
 

The conference had four sessions: Session 1: The role of Legislature in a Democratising Society Session 2: Strengthening Public Faith in Assemblies Session 3: Broadening Citizens Participation in the Legislative Process Session 4: Enhancing Women’s Participation in the Legislative Process

 
 

The conference invited legislators, veteran legislators, Speakers of the National and Provincial Assemblies, and a select group of political leaders, intellectuals, opinion leaders and civil society representatives to debate and share their views on the strengthening of legislature for a vibrant, sustainable democracy in Pakistan. Prominent speakers included Chaudhary Ameer Hussain, Speaker of National Assembly; Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Former Federal Minister PML-N; Mr. S. M. Zafar, renowned Lawyer; Mr. Daniyal Aziz, Chairman NRB; Mr. Abul Hassan Najmee, Secretary Punjab Assembly; Mr. Afrasiab Khattak, Chairperson HRCP; Mr. Iqbal Haider, former Senator PPP; Ms. Rahila Tiwana, Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly; Ms. Naseem Zehra, renowned journalist; Mr. Nisar Khoro, President PPPP Sindh; Mr. Hanif Ramay, former speaker Punjab Assembly; Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi, renowned political and defence analyst; Mr. Jamal Shah Kakar, speaker Blochistan Assembly; Ms. Perveen Qadir Agha, Secretary Women’s Development; Ms. Socorro Reyes, Senior Gender Advisor UNDP; Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gillani, Chairman Gallup Pakistan; Mr. Nusrat Javeed, famous columnist and many others.

 
 

The conference was organized keeping in view the following objectives:

 
 

Highlight the major challenges facing the newly elected assemblies.

 
 

Provide a platform for exchange of ideas on the subject and facilitate a dialogue on major legislative challenges among various stakeholders i.e., political parties, civil society, experts, concerned citizens etc. Discuss and propose measures to squarely meet the challenges faced by the assemblies.

 
 

Discuss the new tools, techniques and technologies, which have been developed in the world to support the legislative process and communication between the public and legislators. Benefit from the views and research of experts on the subject of the conference.