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> PILDAT holds Consultative Session on the Performance of Punjab Assembly under Chairmanship of the Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker
Consultative Session
January 22, 2010


Lahore, January 22; PILDAT held a Consultative Session on the Performance of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. Honourable Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, chaired the Consultative Session.


A select group of Punjab MPAs participated in the consultative session alongside renowned opinion makers and intellectuals like Mr. Shahid Hamid, Senior Advocate Supreme Court and former Governor Punjab, Dr. Hasan-Askari Rizvi, Political Analyst, Mr. Sohail Warraich and Mr. Salman Ghani, etc.


The objective behind holding the Consultative Session was to consult a select group of MPAs, opinion-makers, intellectuals, parliamentary staff, parliamentary reporters and academicians on the need, process, parameters, and public dissemination of Performance of the Provincial Assembly during the past 2 years.


The Honourable Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, welcomed the opportunity provided by PILDAT to objectively analyse the performance of the Punjab Assembly involving not just the Assembly Members and Staff but a wider cross-section for a wholesome evaluation. He highlighted that the performance evaluation must keep in view that due to the peculiar conditions in Pakistan, legislators are constrained to serve their voters on service delivery issues, which allows them a relatively lesser time for legislation. He highlighted that the Punjab Assembly is the only assembly in Pakistan which is providing its online coverage in real time for the benefit of the people. The Assembly focuses on openness and would welcome performance evaluation in the same spirit. He said that he will be happy to work together with PILDAT to develop a system through which any weaknesses highlighted through performance evaluation as well as any recommendations are incorporated and improved upon later.


Speaking at the Consultative Session, Mr. Shahid Hamid said that the Punjab Assembly should amend its rules making it mandatory for the Chief Minister and the Cabinet Ministers to be present in the Question Hour in the Punjab Assembly. He also recommended that the Assembly should also decide that there will be no ordinances issued in coming years and all required legislation will be carried out in the house.


Recommendations such as giving suo moto powers to the Committees in Punjab Assembly, making Committees more effective, and support infrastructure for MPAs to carry out their roles effectively were also made at the Consultative Session. MPAs and Journalists made a unanimous demand that there was an urgent need to modify the Assemblyís Rules of Procedures. There is a huge need for MPAs to focus their energies towards their role inside the Assembly, it was believed. Focus on provision of quality and timely research for the use of MPAs was also made. Participants also filled out the Performance Score Cards.


PILDAT regularly undertakers the performance evaluation of the National Assembly of Pakistan for the last 7 years and publishes an annual report. PILDAT was among the first organizations in the world which undertook a performance evaluation of the 13th National assembly of Pakistan using the Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Unionís (IPUís) framework. The group that carried out the evaluation included the Honourable Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Faisal Karim Kundi. The IPU later invited Pakistan to present the Evaluation as a Case Study for other members of the IPU. Mr. Kundi presented the case study.


PILDAT received the support of DAI as a part of its Pakistan Legislative Strengthening Programme for holding the Consultative Session.