ISLAMABAD: All is set for the launch of the first-of-its kind “Parliamentary Studies Programme” in leading national and private universities of the country, which will be unveiled by Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan here at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services on February 9, 2015.
The brainchild of the Speaker, the programme is aimed at inculcating the importance of democracy, its role in national development and the scope and working of the parliamentary institutions among the youth through classroom instruction. The programme, thus, is aimed to effectively address the continued neglect in promoting a democratic culture in Pakistan.
What is more, the course is also designed to ensure the provision of qualified human resources, appropriately equipped with relevant knowledge and expertise to serve the parliamentary institutions and the legislators effectively. There has long remained a dearth of such human resources, which is cited as a key handicap in the smooth functioning of the parliamentary institutions.
The seven decades of Pakistan’s existence have witnessed the nation’s bumpy ride on the democratic course, which was often marred by prolonged dictatorships, thus impeding the harmonious growth of a pluralistic, all-inclusive and mutually respecting democratic culture. The institutions remained weak in the absence of a supportive mind-set and competent faculty and hence the fruits of democracy in shape of a vibrant, informed and peaceful society have remained a distant dream.
The irony remains that there has been little or no effort to promote such essential democratic values in the Pakistani polity. As result, not a single academic institution in the country offers any course in this vital area. This is also evident from the fact that at present not a single Law School offers a course on legislative drafting, which have rendered the legislators deprived of able draftsmen.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq took up this challenge soon after assuming his office. Not only did the Speaker personally wrote to all concerned universities but the National Assembly Secretariat also sought assistance from the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, which has been running a graduate programme of parliamentary studies in association with the leading UK universities. The acquired course outline, as offered by the UK universities was reviewed by a panel of experts and lawyers and was then shared with the Higher Education Commission. The new course is an eventual outcome of this extensive brainstorming, which aims to address all existing lacunas.
The Vice Chancellors and Rectors of the Universities will now gather on February 9 to formally launch the newly devised course under the leadership of Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.