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> First Session of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-2009 Concluded at Islamabad
   
 

September 22, 2008
Islamabad

   

The First Session
The second batch of Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-2009 held its first session at Islamabad from September 17-September 21, 2008. The Youth Parliament successfully completed its one year term in December 2007. As a model Parliament for young people, the Youth Parliament Pakistan is patterned after the National Assembly of Pakistan and stands at 61.

 
 

The Orientation Session
On the first day of the session on September 17, 2008 the youth MPs were given detailed briefing on their roles and responsibilities as members in the light of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Youth Parliament Pakistan. Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director, PILDAT guided members about the party system, elections of various positions, committee system and on various procedures of Youth Parliament.

 
 

Following parliamentary practices, two mock parties have been created: the Green Party (the Traditionalists) and the Blue Party (the Liberals) and “MYPs” were asked to join one of the two parties prior to the first session. Two party advisers each were selected from the Youth Parliament Steering Committee to advise each party on its functions as a parliamentary party and to elect its leaders. Dr. Donya Aziz, MNA serves as adviser to the Blue Party while Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA is adviser to the Green Party. The Blue Party enjoys majority in the Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-2009.

 
 

The Inaugural Session
The Youth Parliament Pakistan was inaugurated on September 17, 2008 in Islamabad by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting; Ms. Sherry Rehman. Senator S. M. Zafar, Chairman Youth Parliament Steering Committee, Mr. Wazir Ahmed Jogezai as Speaker, 1st Session of Youth Parliament and Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob also spoke on the occasion.

 
 

Speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the Youth Parliament of Pakistan she said that the only way forward for sustainable democracy in Pakistan was to increase political awareness of the Pakistani youth as future leaders of the country. She praised the role of PILDAT as the institution devoted to strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the country and said that PILDAT’s efforts and support for the country’s real Parliament and Parliamentarians were greatly appreciated as well.

 
 

The Sittings of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-2009
The second batch of first ever Youth Parliament Pakistan held four sittings during the first session along with the orientation and inaugural sessions.

 
 

The First Sitting
In the first formal sitting held on September 18, 45%8, the Youth Parliament Pakistan elected its Prime Minister, Mr. Ahmed Ali Babar (Constituency Number YP-21-PUNJAB 02), belonging to the Blue Party. Bagging the post of the Deputy Speaker, Ms. Kashmala Khan Durrani, belonging to Balochistan, was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the Youth Parliament Pakistan. As one of her first actions, the Deputy Speaker notified Mr. Mohammad Essam Rehmani (Constituency Number YP-51-SINDH 03), belonging to the Green Party, as the Leader of the Opposition Youth Parliament Pakistan. Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi, MNA and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, viewed the proceedings of the Youth Parliament Pakistan from the Youth Parliament Visitors’ Gallery.

The first formal session of the Youth Parliament Pakistan began by the oath of the Members Youth Parliament or MYPs which was administered by Mr. Wazir Ahmed Jogezai, Former Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan, who has been invited to serve as the Speaker of the first session of the Youth Parliament Pakistan.

 
 

The Second Sitting
The second sitting was held on September 19, 2008. The cabinet of the second batch of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-2009 took oath. The cabinet members include Mr. Mudassir Habib (YP 57-SINDH09), Youth Minister for Culture, Sports & Youth Affairs, Mr. Muhammad Rafique Wassan (YP 59-SINDH11), Youth Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs & Human Rights, Mr. Samir Anwar Butt (YP10-ICT01), Youth Minister for Foreign Affairs & Defence, Ms. Umm-e-Ammara Hikmat (YP19-NWFP07), Youth Minister for Finance, Planning Affairs & Economics, Mr. Yawar Hayat Shah (YP22-PUNJAB03), Youth Minister for Information and Mr. Zameer Ahmed Malik (YP50-SINDH02), Youth Minister for Education, Health & Environment.

The second sitting of the Youth Parliament began in the morning by a calling attention notice by Mr. Aurangzeb Marri (YP55-SINDH07) about the recent alive burial of women in Balochistan. The house unanimously condemned these actions and demanded that the culprits should be brought to justice. The issue was referred to the Youth Parliament Committee on Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights. On another calling attention notice Mr. Mir Fahad Iqbal (YP61-SINDH13) condemned the US attacks inside Pakistan in which the house united in offering its condemnation. The opposition benches demanded that the Government of Pakistan should reconsider and renegotiate its terms with the United States; while the members of the treasury benches in the Youth Parliament defended the Government of Pakistan’s position supporting the highlighting of the issue on international forums but at the same time handling the issue with care considering that US was an important ally of the Pakistan.

Formal debate was initiated in the Youth Parliament on the topic of revival of students unions. Although the issue is referred to the Standing Committee, there was near unanimity in the house that political parties should have no role or linkages with students unions.

 
 

The Third Sitting
A Resolution proposed by Mr. Syed Ansar Hussain (YP12-NA01), amended by Nishat Kazmi (YP20-PUNJAB01) was adopted during the third sitting of Youth Parliament on September 20, 2008 maintaining that the breaking up of coalition between two major political parties is a matter of grave concern for pro-democratic forces. The resolution stated that all resources must be devoted to good governance and for the continuity of practical and democratic process in order to strengthen the federation.

A calling attention notice was also submitted on the recurring menace of polio epidemic and was referred to the Health Committee. A resolution proposed by Mr. Waqar Nayyar (YP05BALOCHISTAN03) was intensely debated in the House involving seeking foreign assistance for provision of tangible economic and educational opportunities to the youth of tribal areas to help combat terrorism. The house remained divided on the exact wording of the resolution. There was a general agreement on the inclusion of un-biased foreign actors as donors in the development aid. The debate was still in process at the time of adjournment.

In the afternoon, Youth Parliament Standing Committees were also formed and their chairpersons were duly elected in their first meetings.

The Fourth Sitting
On the last day of the sitting on September 21, 2008, Youth Parliament strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Islamabad. The house offered fateha for the departed souls at the beginning. The opposition demanded a review of the Government’s policy vis-à-vis US and war on terror.

Much like the country’s Prime Minister, the Youth Prime Minister Mr. Ahmed Ali Babar (YP21PUNJAB02) also got a unanimous Vote of Confidence under the Rule 19 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Youth Parliament 2008. Mr. Muhammad Rafique Wassan (YP59SINDH11), Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights notified the functioning of committees and their chairs.

Formal discussion started on Pakistan’s energy policy and after lengthy debate the matter was referred to the Standing Committee on Fianance, Planning and Economics to come up with a practical energy policy.

The House passed a unanimous resolution forwarded by Muhammad Khalil Tahir, (YP02-AJK02) that Government should provide up to 50 percent discounts in the local transport fee for students. Another resolution passed by the house was moved by Hira Batool Rizvi (YP15-NWFP03) that Youth Parliament should consider establishing a Youth Fund for the purpose of educating the deprived and needy youth of Pakistan.

Mr. Javed Jabbar, Former Senator and Former Federal Minister for Information and Media Development addressed the Youth Parliament and answered MYPs’ questions.

The session was prorogued sine die.

 
     
 


Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Ms. Sherry Rehman along with the Steering Committee at the Inaugural Session of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-2009

 
     
 


Mr. Wazir Ahmed Jogezai, former Speaker National Assembly; Dr. Donya Aziz, MNA; Ms. Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting; Senator S.M.Zafar and Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA cutting the Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-09 cake to mark the Inaugural Session

 
     
 


Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi; former Speaker National Assembly Mr. Wazir Ahmed Jogezai and Ms. Donya Aziz, MNA viewing the proceedings in the visitors’ gallery

 
     
 


Former Senator and Minister, Mr. Javed Jabbar addressing the Youth Parliament 2008-09 First Session

 
     
 


The Youth Prime Minister and Mr. Ahmed Ali Babar (YP21-PUNJAB 02) administering oath

 
     
 


Ms. Kashmala Khan Durrani taking oath for the post of Deputy Speaker of the Youth Parliament Pakistan

 
     
 


The cabinet of the second batch of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-09 administering oath

 
     
 


First Session of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-09 in Progress

 
     
 


Group Photograph of Youth Parliament Pakistan 2008-09 members with distinguished guests