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> Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on Sharing of Experiences on Governance and Democracy
   January 24, 2017; Dubai, UAE
Pak-India Dialogue
January 24, 2017


  1. The ninth round of Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue was facilitated by PILDAT in Dubai, UAE, on January 24, 2017. The dialogue focused on the theme of sharing of lessons on Developments in Poverty Alleviation 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, State Legislatures of Delhi and Rajasthan alongside experts and media representatives from India.

  3. Participants highlighted that acceleration in economic growth on a sustained basis is an important policy objective for poverty reduction. For this policy and reform, the two countries must introduce reforms in institutions of governance.

  4. Dialogue participants from India highlighted a number of social safety net programmes that have helped alleviate poverty in India adding that success also needs to be based on equitable and sustained growth and the inclusion of stakeholders other than Government.

  5. While the dialogue saw overall consensus on both global and South Asian success with some reduction in poverty numbers despite complexity of measuring poverty and disagreements on successful strategies, participants believed that continuing arms expenditure by both countries will be to the detriment of the welfare of the people.

  6. While Pakistani participants showcased economic growth and role of remittances, they also cited some success emanating from targeted-subsidy programmes in reducing poverty. It was said that such programmes help immediate needs but for longer-term impact, job creation and equal opportunities are also critical.  

  7. Participants also underscored that in order to gain greater benefits of remittances, focus must also be placed on improvements in education and vocational training.

  8. Dialogue also recognised with concern the growing gap in rich and poor segments of society both in Pakistan and India. Comprehensive poverty alleviation strategies must also focus on reducing inequality within society in both countries. Participants highlighted exclusion of the poor in planning as well as in prioritising development schemes. There needs to be an increased focus on expenditures by governments in housing, public health, public education and in other social sectors.

  9. Microfinance and availability of easy and cheap credit can go a long way in providing capital to poor and deprived sections of society for small business enterprises. Empowerment of women through microfinance has had some success in the region. Both countries must exchange experiences in this regard to optimise its effectiveness.

  10. Highlighting food security as a critical looming challenge for Pakistan and India, dialogue participants emphasised that both countries must focus on revamping agricultural growth policies that are farmer-friendly and incentivise them as key stakeholders.

  11. Participants also resolved to use their respective linkages with legislatures and professionals to project the content and recommendations for action as given in the Joint Statement.

  12. Participants underscored that dialogue provides the best forum to share such good practices. While commending PILDAT’s efforts in conceptualising, designing and facilitating dialogue and interaction between Pakistan and India, dialogue participants advised PILDAT to continue the dialogue on relevant themes in the future as well.

  13. While the two countries have witnessed relative success in poverty alleviation, participants discussed in detail the crucial need to guard against vulnerable sections of societies from falling into the vicious trap of poverty again.

With Mr. Kirti Azad, MP, Lok Sabha, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Darbhanga (Bihar), in the Chair, delegates from India included (order of delegates in alphabetical order in the following sequence; Legislators and Subject Experts/Journalists) Mr. Adarsh Shastri, MLA, Delhi Legislative Assembly, Aam Admi Party (AAP), Dwarka (Delhi); Mr. Ajay Dutt, MLA, Delhi Legislative Assembly, Aam Admi Party (AAP), Ambedkar Nagar (South) (Delhi); Mr. Mahendra Jeet Singh Malviya, MLA, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, Indian National Congress (INC), Bagidora (ST) (Rajasthan); Ms. Reetika Khera, Associate Professor Economics, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi,; Mr. Sanjeev Ahluwalia Advisor, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi; Mr. Vijay Sardana PGDM (IIMA), M.Sc. (Food Tech.) (CFTRI), B.Sc. (Dairy Tech.)
PG Dipl. in Int'l Trade Laws & ADR (ILI), Justice (Harvard)
Specialized in Bio-economy & Agribusiness Value Chains, Innovation Management; Ms. Yamini Aiyar, Senior Research Fellow & Director, Accountability Initiative (AI), New Delhi; Mr. Man Aman Chhina, Assistant Editor, Indian Express, Punjab, India; Ms. Shalini Nair, Senior Assistant Editor, The Indian Express, New Delhi and Mr. Vipin Pubby, former editor, Indian Express.

With Syed Naveed Qamar, MNA, NA-222, Hyderabad-V, Sindh, Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarian (PPP-P)) 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, NA-250, Karachi-XII, Sindh, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI); Mrs. Azma Bukhari, MPA, W-318, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N); Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, MPA, PP-179 (Kasur-V), Punjab, PML-N; Dr. Murad Rass, MPA, PP-152 (Lahore-XVI), Punjab, PTI; Mrs. Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, MPA, RSW-156, Sindh, Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F); Dr. Nadeem ul Haque, Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of Pakistan; Rana Jawad, Director News, Geo TV, Islamabad; Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President, PILDAT; Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director, PILDAT and Ms. Shahira Khan, Projects Manager, PILDAT.