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

March 07, 2017; Dubai, UAE


Joint Statement

  1. The tenth round of Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue was facilitated by PILDAT in Dubai, UAE, on March 07, 2017. The dialogue focused on the theme of sharing of lessons on Technology for Better Governance in Pakistan and India.
  2. The Dialogue included Members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies of Punjab and Sindh alongside experts and media representatives from Pakistan who joined Members of the Indian Parliament from Assam, Haryana and Karnataka and State Legislatures of Delhi and Gujarat alongside experts and media representatives from India.
  3. Participants underscored that technology has immense potential to improve governance in Pakistan and India. They recognised that while tremendous strides have been made across Pakistan and India in using technology for improved governance, there exists a lot of room for sharing of good practices between the two countries.
  4. Participants asserted that while use of technology by Governments provided a critical platform to improve the quality of life of citizens, Governments must do so while maintaining the security of data and privacy of citizens.
  5. Participants underscored that real changes in structures of governance to guard against corruption and other systemic ills must accompany and complement the use of technology to improve governance.
  6. Participants recommended that Governments must seek regular feedback from citizens to assess the real impact of technology in improving governance.
  7. While technology is helping citizens with ease of access to services, one of its key challenges is to engage citizens, especially the youth, as active participants in governance and public policy issues. The Governments must actively encourage individuals, businesses and NGOs to come up with initiatives and interfaces that improve administration and service delivery.
  8. Participants believed that tremendous opportunity for exchange and sharing of information exists between Pakistan and India on a variety of technology-enabled initiatives such as IndiaStack and PakistanStack. Of particular interest are the models of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), monitoring of immunisation programmes, Aadhaar authentication (Unique ID), e-Procurement, Smart Cities, e-Cloud for Citizens, land record management and Unified Payment Interface, etc. Setting up a knowledge portal between the two countries can be extremely useful in this regard.
  9. Another area of priority for the two countries is to provide necessary and uniform improvements to support technological governance. Each country has good use of technology implemented in different regions which must be extended nationwide. Exchange of good practices in this area will also enable the two countries to address the challenges of digital divide in both countries.
  10. Participants resolved to use their abilities and reach within Governments, Legislatures and Media to project the content and recommendations for action as given in the Joint Statement.
  11. Participants underscored that dialogue provides a good forum to share successful models. While commending PILDAT’s efforts in conceptualising, designing and facilitating dialogue and interaction between Pakistan and India, dialogue participants urged PILDAT to continue the dialogue on relevant themes in the future as well.

With Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Former Member of the Indian Parliament and Union Minister of India in the Chair, delegates from India included (order of delegates in alphabetical order in the following sequence; Legislators and Subject Experts/Journalists) Mr. Dushyant Chautala, MP, Member, Lok Sabha, Indian National Lok Dal, Hisar (Haryana); Prof. M.V. Rajeev Gowda, MP, Member, Rajya Sabha, Indian National Congress, Karnataka; Mr. Shadi Lal Batra, MP, Member, Rajya Sabha, Indian National Congress, Haryana; Ms. Sushmita Dev, MP, Member, Lok Sabha, Indian National Congress, Silchar (Assam); Mr. Madan Lal, MLA, Delhi Legislative Assembly, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Kasturba Nagar (New Delhi); Mr. Shaktisinh Gohil, MLA, Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Former Leader of the Opposition, Indian National Congress, Abdasa (Gujarat); Mr. Rajesh Sharma, Member, Government of Delhi, IT Task Force, India; Mr. Roshan Shankar, Advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Delhi, India; Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar, Former faculty member IIMA, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; Mr. T.R. Raghunandan, Founder and Mentor, Avantika Foundation, India and Mr. Man Aman Chhina, Assistant Editor, Indian Express, Punjab, India

With Mr. Muhammad Tallal Chaudry, MNA, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), NA-76, Faisalabad-II, Punjab, in the chair, delegates from Pakistan included (order of delegates in alphabetical order in the following sequence of Legislators (National Assembly of Pakistan, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab and Sindh, followed by Subject Experts/Journalists and PILDAT Team) Dr. Arif Alvi, MNA,Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), NA-250, Karachi-XII, Sindh; Mrs. Ayesha Javed, MPA, PML-N, W-317, Punjab; Mrs. Azma Bukhari, MPA, PML-N, W-318, Punjab; Mian Mehmood ur Rashid, MPA, Leader of the Opposition PTI, PP-151 (Lahore-XV), Punjab; Dr. Murad Raas, MPA, PTI, PP-152 (Lahore-XVI), Punjab; Ms. Nabila Hakim Ali Khan, MPA, PTI, W-358, Punjab; Mrs. Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, MPA, Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F), RSW-156, Sindh; Syeda Shehla Raza, MPA, Deputy Speaker, Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian (PPP-P), RSW-132, Sindh; Mr. Ali Mazhar, Joint Director, E- Stamping, PITB, Lahore, Pakistan; Dr. Umar Saif, Advisor to the Hon. Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan, Chairman, Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) & Vice Chancellor, Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan; Mr. Habib Akram, Executive Editor, Dunya TV/Columnist Dunya Newspaper, Islamabad, Pakistan; Rana Jawad, Director News, Geo TV, Islamabad, Pakistan; Mr. Tahir Khalil, Bureau Chief-Islamabad, Daily Jang, Islamabad, Pakistan; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President, PILDAT; Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director, PILDAT and Ms. Shahira Khan, Projects Manager, PILDAT.