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> Unity in Diversity: Pakistan’s Survival, Progress and Prosperity lie in Strengthening the Federal System: Nisar Ahmed Khuhro
IGR Workshops
March 11, 2014


March 11; Inaugurating the 3rd series of workshops on Consolidating Democratic Devolution in Pakistan after the 18th Amendment for the Civil Society Organizations and Media that started in Karachi, Honourable Mr. Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, MPA, Senior Minister of the Sindh Government, said that Pakistan’s survival, its progress and its prosperity lie in strengthening the federal system in Pakistan and only collective wisdom, reconciliation and consultation will lead the way towards strengthening our centre-provincial relations.


Mr. Khuhro said that PILDAT is living up to its name of legislative development and transparency by bringing to the fore challenges and opportunities of federalism. He said that federalism has been on a rocky road in Pakistan and all State institutions have been responsible for contributing to our chequered history. At least 28 countries of the world practice federalism – that makes it nearly 40% of the world population. That means a sizeable number of the World practices federalism as a way of governance. Pakistan, therefore, has not been alone in this journey, however our state and security apparatus has created hindrances in realising the true potential of federalism. Mr. Khuhro said that he was grateful that PILDAT provided an opportunity to elaborate on the institutions available to the Federation and Provinces to work out the challenges and opportunities of our federal structure.


Prof. Dr. Syed Jaffar Ahmad, Director Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi, briefed the participants on the historical evolution of federalism in Pakistan and said that Pakistan's federalism has evolved over a long period. It has passed through different phases and has moved ahead through a series of trials and errors. It has eventually come to a point where one can say with some confidence that if it is operated both in letter and spirit, it could result in a successful and viable federalism.


Dr. Leslie Seidle, Senior Program Adviser, Forum of Federations (FoF), gave a thorough presentation on the concept of Federation and the Inter Governmental Relations in Federal Systems. He highlighted Cooperative Federalism, Inter Governmental Institutions and processes and Inter Governmental Agreements.


Mr. Ahmad M. Zahid, Former Federal Secretary, said that an overly centrist mindset poses the biggest challenge to implementing the devolution processes effectively. This was argued on the misperception of administrative capacity of the provinces also to run these activities smoothly God knows this mindset was the outcome of the provision of the Constitution of 1962 or whether those provisions were the reflection of our psyche at the time and which still haunts us.


Earlier Mr. Phillip Gonzalez, Program Manager Forum of Federations informed that the FoF supports better governance through learning among experts. It is supported by partner countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Switzerland.


Opening the workshop, Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT, thanked the participants and expressed her gratitude for the participation by eminent scholars, civil society activists and media persons in the workshop. Ms. Aasiya Riaz said that the objective of these workshops is what is depicted in their title – Consolidation of Democratic Devolution. On Forums of Federations, she said that it is probably the most dynamic and focused inter-Governmental entity in the world working for the consolidation of federalism around the globe and PILDAT is delighted to partner with the Forum in organizing these workshops.


PILDAT has joined hands with the Forum of Federations to hold a series of Workshops on Consolidating Democratic Devolution in Pakistan after the 18th Amendment. These workshops are part of the project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development of the Government of Canada.


Following Discussion Papers were also shared among participants as backgrounder on Federalism:
Historical Evolution of Federalism in Pakistan  [English Version]   [Urdu Version]   [Sindhi Version]

Inter-Governmental Relations in Pakistan Evolution and Potential with Relation to 18th Amendment  [English Version]   [Urdu Version   [Sindhi Version]]

Pakistan Fiscal Management And Accountability [English Version]