The PILDAT Annual Report 2011-2012 covers the period from July 01, 2011 to June 30, 2012 . During the year, PILDAT has continued the focus of its activities upon review of the public policies relating to vital issues the society has been facing. The subjects of concern were deliberated by the experts and professionals in the relevant field in a transparent manner so that everybody could be benefitted out of the discussions and opinions expressed and formulated.
PILDAT initiative on broadening and deepening public discourse on civilian and Parliamentary oversight on Defence continued during the reporting period. Many celebrated national and regional experts 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.
During the reporting period, Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) presented its recommendations, including those which PIDAT had shared with the committee, to the Parliament on March 20, 2012, marking it a milestone in Pakistan’s Parliamentary history signifying that foreign policy, which has been considered a domain of civil and military bureaucracy, now has a collective Parliamentary ownership.
Enhancing Parliament and Provincial Assemblies’ Role in the Budget Process has continued to be an area of focus of PILDAT’s work during this year also. From assisting Pakistan’s National Assembly, PILDAT also continued to assist the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab in this regard. Through PILDAT’s initiative spanning over many years, nearly every legislator from across political spectrum is aware of the deficiency of current budget process. MPs raise these deficiencies regularly in the Houses, especially during budget sessions, and share reform proposals developed together with PILDAT. Committees have begun to demand departmentally-related budget and demands for grants and slowly have started receiving these ahead of budget session. There are private member motions and changes on rules submitted in the National Assembly of Pakistan in this regard.
Parliament of Pakistan has considered and adopted certain reform proposals by PILDAT into constitutional and legal framework. These include setting up a permanent Election Commission, a multi-party process of appointment of Chief and other Election Commissioners and a bi-partisan process of appointment of neutral caretaker Governments at the centre and at the provinces. In addition, PILDT’s long-standing demand of making Computerised-Identity Cards (CNICs) as the basis of computerized electoral rolls in Pakistan has also been provided with legislative assent.
PILDAT continued with its initiative of assessing democracy in Pakistan with a well-received media attention and coverage. PILDAT interacted with leadership of the country on the basis of findings of its evaluations to generate democratic reform.
In order to promote better understanding between Pakistani, Afghan and Indian legislators on cooperation regarding cross-border issues such as security, trade, Control of Narcotics and water and refugees, etc., recommendations of the PILDAT Parliamentary Dialogues of Pakistani Parliamentarians with Afghan and Indian Parliamentarians separately, particularly suggestions of the Dialogue with Indian MPs on Trade and Economic Issues were adopted by the respective Commerce Ministers of India and Pakistan in February 2012.
During the period of 2011-2012, PILDAT also continued its initiative to build the conflict resolution capabilities of Members and relevant Staff from the National and Provincial Assemblies (Punjab & Sindh), Legislative Assemblies of Gilgit-Baltistan and AJ&K and political party youth wings.
These initiatives and other modest contributions of PILDAT this year in strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan are being shared with you through this report. We look forward to receiving your support and your feedback, as always.