The fourth round of the Pakistan-India
Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on Sharing of Experiences on Governance
and Democracy was facilitated by PILDAT and took place in Dubai,
UAEon November 20, 2016. The Dialogue focussed on sharing of experiences
and good practices on Effective Agriculture and Livestock Practices
and Policies between legislators and experts belonging to Indian
States of Punjab and Haryana and Pakistan’s province of Punjab.
Participants acknowledged and appreciated
the facilitation of the Dialogue by PILDAT by bringing together legislators
and subject experts from India and Pakistan. That it was organised by PILDAT
successfully at the time of unusual strain in relations between Pakistan
and India was especially appreciated by participants from both countries.
Special thanks were offered by PILDAT, alongside
delegates from both countries, to Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar,
Former Member of Indian Parliament; Former Union Minster of India, for his
constant and untiring support to the crucial requirement of “uninterrupted
and uninterruptible dialogue” between Pakistan and India.
Participants from both countries joined
PILDAT in paying tribute to late Senator Jehangir Badar,
one of the veterans of the Pakistan-India dialogue series facilitated by
PILDAT, who died of a heart attack on November 13, 2016.
The dialogue once again underscored the
critical requirement of continuing dialogue and avenues of interaction on
sharing of experiences on democratic governance between Pakistan and India.
Participating legislators and experts termed the sharing of experiences
as a necessity to reforming of policies and practices in the two countries
as both countries face similar issues and can find workable solutions through
good practices adopted by each other.
In the first session of the Dialogue focusing
on sharing of agricultural practices from Indian States of Punjab and Haryana
and Pakistani Punjab, experts highlighted the need to approach agricultural
policies and practices holistically to benefit both the consumers and farmers
while achieving food security for both India and Pakistan as the key planks
of national policies of both countries. Profitability to the farmer must
be an equal, if not the key consideration of reforms in policies as food
security can not be approached at the cost of keeping farmers poor.
Despite the centrality of agriculture to
the economy of both countries, experts lamented agriculture and related
policy reforms do not get required governmental and legislative focus in
both countries. While both countries face similar challenges though of varying
degrees, experts strongly urged the legislators from Pakistan and India
to focus their time and efforts on overhauling agriculture on the whole
in their respective legislatures. Legislators can play this role by policy
input on agriculture as well as by review of existing policies and initiatives
by Governments through oversight mechanisms available to them.
Water scarcity faced by both countries,
believed participants, poses a far more serious threat than policy makers
in both countries realise. Urgent policy and legislative focus, therefore,
must be placed on introducing effective water conservation strategies in
the two countries.
Participants also urged PILDAT to facilitate
cooperation on agricultural research, extension, education, mechanisation,
post-harvest management and livestock sectors by forging institutional arrangements
among the relevant universities and institutions in both the countries.
The disconnect between agricultural research
carried out in agricultural universities and the changing requirements of
a farmer was highlighted as another key challenge in both countries. While
the issue is more stark in Pakistan compared to India, experts believed
that creation of effective dissemination of agricultural research and practises
of the farmer on ground must be a key priority of the legislators and governments.
Participants highlighted the need for creating
linkages on learning from each other in both countries, offering that sharing
of agricultural research centres and regular facilitation of kissan
melas, educational linkages and dialogue forums and media interfaces
must be promoted by legislators in their respective legislatures in India
and Pakistan. In addition, participants also highlighted the need to promote
regular exchanges between farmers, students and experts on agriculture,
so that practitioners on both sides remain apprised of good practices.
It was recognized that both the countries
can offer various areas for cooperation in the field of agriculture. These
included sharing of research and development such as in seed quality; optimum
irrigation practices; tackling climate change together; efficient agro-processing;
recharging of groundwater; development of drought resistant crops; exploration
of the horticulture, floriculture, livestock, fisheries, and organic farming
sectors; use of technology and generally of progressive agricultural practices.
In the second session focusing on sharing
of good practices on livestock development, participants highlighted not
just the need to learn from each other’s good practices but interact
regularly in order to avoid such practices that have harmed one or the other
Experts highlighted that animal breeding
offers a huge opportunity much like a seed business of agriculture in both
India and Pakistan. Both countries could face considerable risks without
adequate animal breeding policies and programmes. Both countries can share
technologies and good practices in poultry breeding as well as in fisheries.
Participants believed the two countries
require active collaboration in livestock in areas including vaccine research,
exchange of data on disease monitoring and surveillance, experiences on
breed development, animal welfare issues and opportunities in value addition
for domestic as well as international markets.
Participants also highlighted the scope
to develop technical collaboration and trading opportunities in dairy segment
between India and Pakistan.
Participants and experts urged PILDAT to
continue to facilitate sharing of experiences between Pakistan and India
on important issues of governance and democracy.
Under the leadership of Mr. Mani
Shankar Aiyar, Former Member of the Indian Parliament; Union Minister
of India, delegates from India included
(Order of Delegates in alphabetical order in the following sequence;
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, India;
Members of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, India and Subject Experts/Journalists)
Mr. Kanwar Pal, MLA, Speaker, Haryana Legislative
Assembly, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Jagadhri (Haryana); Ms. Santosh
Yadav, MLA, Deputy Speaker, Haryana Legislative Assembly,
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Ateli (Haryana); Mr. Ghanshyam Dass, MLA,
Haryana Legislative Assembly, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Yamuna Nagar (Haryana);
Mr. Lalit Nagar, MLA, Haryana Legislative Assembly, Indian
National Congress (INC), Tigaon (Haryana); Mr. Parminder Singh Dhull,
MLA, Haryana Legislative Assembly, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Julana (Haryana);
Mr. Zakir Hussain, MLA, Haryana Legislative Assembly, Indian
National Lok Dal (INLD), Nuh (Haryana); Mr. Jyoti Kamal, Editor,
CNN IBN; Senior Editor at TV 18 Broadcast (Haryana); Mr. Man Aman Singh
Chhina, Assistant Editor, Indian Express (Punjab); Dr. M. J.
Khan, Chairman, Indian Council of Food and Agriculture and Mr.
Vijay Sardana, PGDM (IIMA), M.Sc. (Food Tech.) (CFTRI), B.Sc. (Dairy
PG Dipl. in Int'l Trade Laws & ADR (ILI), Justice (Harvard)
in Bio-economy & Agribusiness Value Chains, Innovation Management, India.
With Senator Mohsin Leghari
(Punjab, Independent), in the Chair, delegates from Pakistan included (Order
of Delegates in alphabetic order in the following sequence of Legislators followed
by Subject Experts) Qazi Adnan Fareed, MPA (PP-268 (Bahawalpur-II),
Punjab, PML-N); Mian Mehmood-ur-Rashid, MPA, Leader of the
Opposition (PP-151 (Lahore-XV), Punjab, PTI); Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan,
MPA) (PP-179 (Kasur-V), Punjab, PML-N); Mr. Muhammad Jahanzaib Khan
Khichi, MPA (PP-239 (Vehari-VIII), Punjab, PTI); Syed Tariq
Yaqoob Rizvi, MPA (PP-117 (Mandi Bahauddin-II), Punjab, PML-N); Sardar
Vickas Hassan Mokal, MPA (PP-180 (Kasur-VI), Punjab,
PML); Dr. Amanullah, Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) Department
of Economics and Business Management, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences,
Lahore; Mr. Ahmed Umair, CEO, Green Revolution
Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Hamid Malhi, Chairman, Punjab Bio Energy
Co.; Member Farmer Association of Pakistan (FAP) and Dr. Masood
Rabbani, Tenured Professor of Microbiology/ Dean Faculty of Veterinary
Science, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. The PILDAT Team included
Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President, Ms. Aasiya Riaz,
Joint Director and Ms. Shahira Khan, Projects Manager,