This is the first Annual report of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency – PILDAT. Although the report is titled as ‘Annual Report’, the period covered in the report is 20 months which includes its pre- registration period as well. The report thus covers the period from November 01, 2001 to June 30, 2003.
Our intention is to take the tradition of Annual Reports seriously and faithfully document the performance of the organisation through this medium. We hope that through the tool of Annual Report an effective system of self-assessment or even self- criticism will be established leading to greater transparency. We also hope that our Annual Report will become an authoritative medium of communication with all those who have an interest in knowing about PILDAT and its progress.
This report covers the formative phase of the organisation in which the organisational activities were dominated by the process of team-building, learning, planning, exploring avenues, establishing contacts and introducing the organisation and what it stood for. Although Pakistan has a vibrant and sizeable civil society, it did not have a dedicated civil society organisation focused on democracy, legislative development and legislative transparency. We, therefore, in all modesty, feel that PILDAT filled a vacuum in the ranks of Pakistani civil society. The formation of PILDAT was timely in the sense that the organisation was ready to focus on its core activities, i.e. legislative development, by the time the legislatures were restored in the country after a 3-year military rule. It is a modest beginning but we are determined to sustain the effort and make a meaningful and positive contribution to the political landscape of Pakistan as a non-partisan and independent organisation which holds the ideals of objectivity, independence, non-partisanship, high quality of discourse and interaction and professionalism very dear.
Two important developments during the reporting period greatly helped the organisation in its formative phase. The UNDP awarded us a Legislative Capability- building Pilot Project towards the end of 2002. Although the project had a short span, it was a great experience working with a large and prestigious organisation like UNDP at the very start. Second, DFID awarded a 3-year Pakistan Legislature Capacity-building Project to PILDAT starting January 1, 2003. This was a strong vote of confidence in the capability and professionalism of PILDAT which placed a great responsibility on the organisation to prove it equal to the challenge.
I wish to thank the pioneering PILDAT team which has worked under extremely trying conditions during the initial phase and tried to establish healthy traditions to build on consequently. We wish to thank our first batch of supporters who took a chance on us as a new entity and reposed their trust in us. We hope we have proved ourselves worthy of their trust. In this context, we especially wish to thank The Asia Foundation, the Department For International Development – DFID (UK), the British Council, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung who encouraged and supported us through the initial phase of our journey. We hope they will continue to find us a trustworthy partner on projects of mutual interest in the days to come.