Orientation of Newly Elected Honourable Members (erstwhile FATA) of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, September 19-20, 2019

  • Publication Date: Fri, October 11, 2019

    Through a historic event in the political history of Pakistan on July 20, 2019, the people of erstwhile FATA, by exercising their right to vote, elected the 16 Members to the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. To welcome and orientate the new Members about the working of the Assembly, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) organized an orientation programme in collaboration with UNDP from September 19th-20th, 2019.

    The program commenced with the recitation from the Holy Quran followed by welcome remarks by Ms. Samer Awais, Director General PDP & IT (PIPS). The chief guest for the event was Honourable Mr. Ziaullah Khan Bangash, Advisor to Chief Minister on Education the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He encouraged the new Members to take full advantage of the initiative taken by PIPS and elaborated that these sessions were held to orientate them for their terms at the Assembly, as it is essential to know the business of the Assembly before working there. Moreover, he urged that such training sessions would help the MPAs in identifying and prioritizing issues in their areas that need their utmost attention.

    Mr. Zafarullah Khan, Parliamentary Expert, briefed the audience of a very important role of Parliament, i.e. Taxation, and steps to be taken to combat challenges in its implementation. He quoted examples of countries which developed their areas similar to erstwhile FATA there in brief periods, and hoped that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly in the same manner would focus on the development of the newly merged areas.

    The next session was facilitated by Mr. Iftikhar Ullah Babar, Former Secretary Senate of Pakistan, who spoke about the importance and significance of different oversight tools while adhering to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly. He shed light on the 3 basic roles of Assembly; Legislation, Representation and Oversight of the Executive. With his experience in the upper House, Mr. Iftikhar Ullah Babar gave an overview of the working of the Assembly and identified the tools that would help the members in executing oversight.

    Ms. Samer Awais in her session briefed the participants on the different forums currently working in the National Parliament and Provincial Assemblies including the Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC), SDGs Secretariat and the Young Parliamentary Forum (YPF). She highlighted the achievements of WPC, which has helped in legislating for women, transgender, victims of domestic violence, harassment, and establishment of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).

    Furthermore, Honourable Mr. Mushtaq Ghani, Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly, welcomed the newly elected members and showed his pleasure to be among the members, when history in erstwhile FATA changed course. He highlighted the importance of the orientation session which will equip them to become effective parliamentarians.

    Mr. Afaq Iqbal, IT Officer (Programmer), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly, gave a brief session on E-Parliament that the Assembly has introduced, which is a shift from using paper on the floor of the House to being an almost paperless Assembly. This honor is gained by the Assembly for being one of the first Parliaments to be called an E-Parliament not only in the country but in the whole world.

    Mr. Bilal Khattak, Representative UNDP briefed the audience on the forums facilitated by UNDP inside or for the Assembly. He told about the establishment, achievement and future plans of SDGs Task Force, the Youth Parliamentary Forum (YPF) and Women Parliamentary Caucus (WPC).

    Day two of the orientation began with a detailed lecture on the role of Oversight that the Assembly performs over the Executive by Mr. Iftikharullah Babar. In contrast to the Federal Parliament, the Provincial Assemblies only legislate for their own respective province, he clarified. He very precisely brought the attention of the newly elected MPAs to the jurisdiction under which they can legislate. Mr. Babar also explained the legislative lists (federal and concurrent), and relayed the significance of the 18th amendment, with the power and authorities devolved to the Provincial assemblies.

    Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Executive Director PIPS on "Role and Functions of Committees" opened the session with discussion on the significance of Committees. He further explained the legislative analysis model with examples from recent past and reminded the members that Parliamentary scrutiny by Committees ensures good governance. Finally, he encouraged the MPAs to focus on the bigger interest of the people, become better negotiators, and most importantly understand their role before speaking to the media or on the floor of the House. Mr. Zaka closed the session with a vote of thanks to the participants for attending this two-day orientation.