May 09; With the goal to strengthen and deepen institutional, think-tank and parliamentary relations between Pakistan and Australia, PILDAT Joint Director, Ms. Aasiya Riaz held detailed interactions with a number of Australian Federal MPs and honourable Speaker, Ministers and members of Victoria State Parliament during May 3-6, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.
At a luncheon hosted by Pakistan’s Consul General to Melbourne, Syed Moazzam H. Shah, at the prestigious Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on May 3, Ms. Riaz briefed Australia’s former National Security Advisor and current member of Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Mr. Peter Khalil, MP, Ms. Maria Vamvakinou, MP who has been elected as a member of House of Representatives since 2001 and Victoria State Assembly member and Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship and Communities Recovery, Mr. Craig Ondarchie, MP. Pakistan’s Consul General to Melbourne, Syed Moazzam H. Shah especially thanked Australian federal MPs for their keen interest in Pakistan to join the luncheon interaction despite being in the middle of their campaign for the Australian Federal Election due to be held on May 21, 2022. Ms. Riaz briefed MPs about the work of PILDAT, current state of political affairs in Pakistan as well as avenues of mutual interest and engagement to be explored between Pakistan and Australia especially within the domain of democratic development and federal structures and institutions.
On May 4, Speaker Victoria Legislative Assembly, Honourable Mr. Colin Brooks, MP, was hosted at the residence of Pakistan’s Consul General to Melbourne, Syed Moazzam H. Shah. Ms. Riaz briefed Honourable Speaker about Pakistan’s Parliamentary and Provincial structures and distribution of roles and powers between federal and provincial legislatures.
Dynamic duo of Pakistani Australian doctors Dr. Zoya Mughal and Dr. Naveed Mughal hosted a dinner at their house on May 6 where Ms. Aasiya Riaz met and interacted with Victoria Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, The Honourable Ms. Lily D’Ambrosio, MP, Member of the Victoria Parliament Public Accounts and Estimates, Ms. Pauline Richards, MP and Member of Australian Parliament’s Joint Public Accounts and Audit Committee, Ms. Kate Thwaites, MP. The Federal and State MPs were deeply interested in the political leadership opportunities for their fellow women MPs in Pakistan and PILDAT’s work in strengthening women and youth in leadership through various PILDAT initiatives including the Youth Parliament Pakistan.
PILDAT gratefully acknowledges the very gracious facilitation, support and hospitality provided to Ms. Riaz by Pakistan’s Consul General to Melbourne Syed Moazzam H. Shah and Mrs. Fazila Moazzam Shah. Our special thanks are also due for Pakistani-Australian couple Dr. Zoya and Naveed Mughal, who, due to their admirable political and social work in Melbourne facilitated the important meetings and interaction with Australian Federal and Victoria State Speaker, Ministers and MPs that are important to deepen and strengthen Pakistan-Australia engagement in the spheres of democracy, development and rule of law.