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> Consultative Session on Formation of PILDAT
Consultative Session
January 23, 2002
Hotel Avari, Lahore


Despite difference of views on what should be the order of priority on the agenda for the PILDAT, the panel of speakers termed PILDAT as a timely and appropriate intervention to steer the course of democracy and strengthening of democratic processes in Pakistan. The event was the formation of PILDAT Consultative session organized with collaboration with the British Council.


PILDAT, an initiative by a body of citizens aimed at strengthening democracy and democratic processes in the country, held consultative sessions involving specialists from a cross section of society. The Lahore session was aimed at prioritizing its areas of focus.


Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director of PILDAT introduced the concept of PILDAT and elaborated upon the conceived programme areas and invited suggestions from the main speakers before the floor was opened for discussion.


Ms. Aysha Jalal supported the initiative and said that it is timely and most appropriate thing to do in the present circumstances the country is pasing through. Mr. Mujeeb Shami was of the view that this is the failure of political parites , which was responsible for the gradual decrease in the turn out in successive elections in Pakistan. The electorate has lost trust in the parties. Major General (Rtd.) Ghulam Omar said that it is the deapth of deterioration to which a nation can sink that it is governed by soldiers. He said that the democracy is soething that can never bebrought by the military. Mr. Ilahi Bux Soomro said that that feudal culture has breathed its last in our country so the vistas are now open for the citizens to participate and strengthen democracy in Pakistan.


Among the participants were, Elahi Bux Soomro, Former Speaker National Assembly; S.M. Zafar, Former Federal Minister of law; Ayesha Jalal, historian, professor of history at Tufts University USA; Shahid Kardar, former Minister for Finance, Punjab; Fakhr e Imam, former speaker National Assembly; Gunter Lehrke, Resident Representative FES; Arno Keller, Resident Representative FNS; Mujeeb Shami, Chief Editor, Daily Pakistan; Hanif Ramay, former speaker and Chief Minister Punjab; I.A. Rehman, Director Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; Dr. Robert Snell, Director the British Council Lahore; Humayun Ihsan, Principal Punjab College of Law, Chaudhry Mohd. Rasheed Khan, Secretary General Institution of Engineers Pakistan; Dr. Imran Ali, Dean of Research and Publication, LUMS, Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gillani, Chairman GALLUP; Peter Ellwood, Director the British Council Pakistan; Michael Smith, Deputy Head of the Mission, British High Commission.