Islamabad, December 15 2021: UNDP in collaboration with PILDAT organized a Consultation Forum today on the latest Electoral Reforms currently under debate in the Parliament. The objective of today’s event was to inform and engage citizens and policymakers to strengthen the electoral processes in Pakistan for free, fair and credible elections in 2023.
The Consultation Forum was attended by representatives of nine political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPP-P), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan (JUI), Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Awami National Party (ANP), National Party (NP) and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M).
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, MNA & Federal Minister of Information & Broadcasting, provided the government’s perspective and overview of the proposed amendments in the bill.
In her welcome remarks, Ms. Aliona Niculita, Resident Representative a.i. UNDP Pakistan, said that UNDP’s project on Strengthening Electoral and Legislative Processes (SELP) works to promote accountability and transparency. She expressed her pleasure upon seeing all the major political parties of Pakistan as well as civil society and media together to discuss electoral reforms for credible, fair and inclusive elections in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT said that the purpose of today’s forum was to discuss and debate those electoral reforms that are currently before the Parliament and take perspectives along with exchange of view among political parties, civil society and media. It was hoped that some level of consensus or a contribution may be made towards consensus on electoral reforms in Parliament.
Other political parties were represented by Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, MNA & Former Federal Minister & Senator Dr. Afnan Ullah Khan from PML-N, Senator Taj Haider, Chair Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs from PPP-P, Senator Kamran Murtaza, Member Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs from JUI, Senator Faisal Subzwari, Member Central Coordination Committee of MQM-P & Mr. Javed Hanif, MPA (Sindh), Member Central Coordination Committee of MQM-P, Senator Anwar ul Haq Kakar from BAP, Mr. Zahid Khan, Information Secretary ANP & Mr. Abdur Rahim Wazir, Member Central Working Committee of ANP, Senator Tahir Bizenjo from NP & Agha Hassan Baloch, MNA from BNP-M.
Representatives from Media & Civil Society included Mr. Habib Akram of Dunya TV, Ms. Arifa Noor of Dawn TV, Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami of Daily Pakistan, Mr. Bilal Gilani of Gallup Pakistan, Dr. Taha Ali of NUST, Mr. Fahd Husain of Dawn, Mr. Nazeer Mahar of Democracy Reporting International, Ms. Benazir Shah of Geo, Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ali of CPDI, Mr. Kanwar Dilshad of NDF, Mr. Shabir Ahmed of IFES, Mr. Saleem Safi of Geo, Mr. Mudassir Rizvi of TDEA-FAFEN, Mr. Farrukh Patafi of PTV, Mr. Tahir Khalil of Jang and Syed Anwar ul Hassan of PTV.