Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on Sharing of Experiences on Governance and Democracy

November 20, 2016; Dubai, UAE


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Joint Statement
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 country.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Participants also highlighted the scope to develop technical collaboration and trading opportunities in dairy segment between India and Pakistan.

  17. 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 Tech.)
PG Dipl. in Int’l Trade Laws & ADR (ILI), Justice (Harvard)
Specialized 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, PILDAT.