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> Sindh and Punjab MPAs Call for Greater Inter-Provincial Contacts and Legislative Reforms
Inter-Provincial Legislative Dialogue
August 27, 2013

Download Briefing Paper [PDF]
Urdu Version [PDF]

Lahore, August 27; MPAs from Punjab and Sindh Assemblies got together at an unprecedented inter-provincial Legislative Dialogue organised by PILDAT today.


The Inter-Provincial Dialogue and Briefing Session brought together 14 MPAs representing key political parties in the Provincial Assembly of Sindh who were joined by over 80 MPAs from Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.


Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, MPA, opened the Dialogue by officially welcoming Sindh MPAs in Lahore while he was joined by Panellists including Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, MPA, Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly; Mr. Sher Ali Gorchani, MPA, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly; Mr. Inayat Ullah Lak, Director General Parliamentary Research, Punjab Assembly; Mr. Fayaz Ali Bhutt, MPA and Leader of the Sindh Assembly Delegation; Rai Mumtaz Hussain Babar, Acting Secretary, Punjab Assembly; Mr. Waris Kallu, MPA Punjab and Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT.


Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan expressed his gratitude to PILDAT for facilitating the Inter-Provincial Legislative Dialogue. He said that for legislators to effectively discharge their responsibilities, it is important that Provincial Assemblies come together to discuss effective ways and means to strengthen their respective rules. Referring to the comparative analysis of Provincial Assembly rules by PILDAT, he said that there is a lot of room to learn from best practices adopted by the Assemblies. He welcomed the initiation of the inter-provincial dialogue by PILDAT and said that Punjab Assembly remains committed to taking this dialogue forward.


Speaking at the session, Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, MPA (PP-151; Lahore-XV; PTI) and Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, both welcomed the PILDAT initiative and urged for similar capacity building exercises in the future bringing all Assemblies together. He deplored the stages of law-making in the Assemblies where the treasury and the opposition are often at loggerheads, and consensus is difficult to achieve. He believed that dialogues of this nature can take care of the behaviour of opposition for the sake of opposition. Public representatives, he said, need to come together for the good of the people. He was also of the opinion that the Leader of the House in the Punjab Assembly should attend the sessions of the Assembly regularly as it will add to the sanctity of the House. He pressed that a change in rules or even a legislation of this nature needs to be passed in the House to ensure the presence of the Chief Minister during the sessions of the Punjab Assembly.


Mr. Fayaz Ali Bhutt, MPA Sindh (PS-77; Dadu) and Leader of the Delegation from the Sindh Assembly, expressed his gratitude for the warm reception in Lahore. He said that it is strength of democracy that for the first time in Pakistan, MPAs from different provinces are meeting and participating in a dialogue aimed at improving legislative performance of Provincial Assemblies, both in form and in substance.


Mr. Inayat Ullah Lak, Director General Parliamentary Research, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, shared a comparative analysis of the Rules of 4 Provincial Assemblies at the Session.


In a discussion following the presentation, MPAs from both Assemblies discussed in detail the reforms needed to strengthen the respective rules in the two Assemblies. They focused especially on greater powers and role on financial and budgetary scrutiny of the Assemblies as well as the need to strengthen committee system for a more effective oversight role of the Assemblies.


MPAs from both sides also appreciated the opportunity to sit together in a dialogue.

Members of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh who joined the Dialogue included Mr. Fayaz Ali Bhutt, MPA (PS-77, Dadu, PPPP); Dr. Sikandar Shoro, MPA (PS-71, Jamshoro, PPPP); Mr. Imdad Ali Pitafi, MPA (PS-52, Tando Allayar, PPPP); Ms. Saniya, MPA (PS-109, Karachi, PPPP); , MPA (RSW-145, PPPP); Mr. Muhammad Iftikhar Alam, MPA (PS-106, Karachi, MQM); Mr. Poonjo Bheel, MPA (RWM-165, MQM); Mr. Waqar Hussain Shah, MPA (PS-128, Karachi, MQM); Mr. Khurram Sher Zaman, MPA (PS-112, Karachi, PTI); Ms. Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, MPA (RSW-156, PML-F); Ms. Nusrat Bano Sehr Abbasi, MPA (RSW-157, PML-F); Mr. Nand Kumar, MPA (RSM-168, PML-F); Mr. Shafi Muhammad Jamot, MPA (PS-129, Karachi, PML-N) and Ms. Sorath Thebo, MPA (RSW-158, PML-N). The Sindh delegation also included Mr. Muhammad Hassan Shah, Additional Secretary Provincial Assembly of the Sindh, and Mr. Anjum Zia, PRO, Provincial Assembly of the Sindh.

Earlier, the Sindh Assembly delegation was warmly welcomed at the Lahore airport by Mr. Sher Ali Gorchani, MPA, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, and Chaudhry Abdul Waheed Arain, MPA and Punjab Provincial Minister.

The delegation will visit the Punjab Assembly tomorrow where it will be hosted by the Honourable Speaker of the Punjab Assembly. The delegation will also call on the Chief Minister of the Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, MPA.