This year has been marked by a tragic loss, not just for PILDAT but for Pakistan: 6 Members of Youth Parliament Pakistan, including the Youth Prime Minister, lost their lives in an airplane crash on July 28, 2011. The 6 members of Youth Parliament were travelling from Karachi to join the final session of Youth Parliament Pakistan in Islamabad. The best and brightest of Pakistani youth included Mr. Hassan Javed Khan, (YP39-SINDH02; Blue Party; Member 3rd Youth Parliament Pakistan) Youth Prime Minister; Syeda Rabab Zehra Naqvi, (YP41-SINDH04; Blue Party; Member 3rd Youth Parliament Pakistan) Youth Information Minister; Mr. Prem Chand, (YP38-SINDH01; Blue Party; Member 3rd Youth Parliament Pakistan), Youth Minister for Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs; Mr. Bilal Jamaee, (YP44-SINDH07; Green Party; Member 3rd Youth Parliament Pakistan) Youth Shadow Minister for Information; Mr. Owais bin Laiq (YP45-SINDH08; Green Party; Member 3rd Youth Parliament Pakistan), Member Youth Parliament Standing Committee on Information and Syed Arsalan Ahmad (YP42-SINDH05; Blue Party; Member 3rd Youth Parliament Pakistan), Member Youth Parliament Standing Committee on Information. PILDAT stands by the parents and families of these young martyrs of democracy. This report is dedicated to the memory of our Youth Martyrs.
PILDAT continued with its initiative of assessing democracy in Pakistan which culminated in a Mid-Term Report on the Assessment of the Quality of Democracy in Pakistan in September 2010. The assessment covered the period of 2 1⁄2 years of the Government and Parliament that came into being through the February 2008 General Election.
Carrying forward its theme on the need for political and legislative oversight on implementation of Immunization Programme in Pakistan, PILDAT continued assisting legislators across Pakistan and their Immunization Caucuses that it facilitated.
During the year, PILDAT evaluated some of the lingering issues on labour especially after the 18th Constitutional Amendment and shared these with legislators. In addition to sensitizing national and provincial legislators on the need for comprehensive labour policies in the country, a part of PILDAT initiative has also been to politically sensitize top leadership of Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), one of the largest workers organisation in Pakistan, on the role, functions and structure of the Parliament and Parliamentary Committees dealing with workers’ issues while discussing the various aspects of engaging with the political par ties in Pakistan for adoption of worker friendly policies and practices.
Once again, PILDAT revived its initiative of facilitating fact-based discourse on Water Issues in Pakistan through engaging with experts and elected legislators across Pakistan. The purpose behind the initiative has been to enhance the quality of the debate about internal water issues among the provinces of Pakistan and other key constituents i.e., media, parliamentarians including the relevant parliamentary committees and to encourage progress towards solutions and reduce the potential for internal conflict. PILDAT got together a group of relevant Water Experts who met to finalise a Background Paper based on which interactions with MPs and media were facilitated. Although, provinces especially Sindh and Punjab, maintained their position, there were a number of water distribution related aspects on which consensus was achieved.
PILDAT initiative on broadening and deepening public discourse on civilian and Parliamentary oversight on Defence continued during the repor ting period. Many celebrated national and regional exper ts penned down briefing papers and case studies on the issue, based on which key public representatives from major political parties of Pakistan held interactions under the PILDAT banner. From assisting committees to overseeing their performance, PILDAT put together the first-of-its-kind Citizens Monitoring Report on the Performance of the Parliamentary Committees of Defence and National Security during the first 3 years of the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan.