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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Conference on “Constitutional Reforms, Governance & Implementation”

One day National Conference on, "Constitutional Reforms: Governance and Implementation" organized by Pakistan House, an Islamabad based think tank, on Monday, Jan 13, in Serena Hotel, Islamabad is set to attract a large number of policy experts, politicos, media, academia, and students from several universities. Organizers of the conference hope to kick start a national dialogue on Pakistan's form of governance; they ask: if Westminster parliamentary system has served Pakistan well? The 18th Amendment will also come under sharp focus.

Pakistan House, an Islamabad based think tank is organizing a one-day national conference on, “Constitutional Reforms: Governance and Implementation” on Monday, Jan 13, in Serena Hotel, Islamabad – event is set to attract a large number of policy experts, politicos, media, academia, and students from capital city’s several universities.

Panelists include prominent media persons, politicians and ex-civil servants who have served at important positions. Rana Athar, founding Director-General of Pakistan House, has briefed GVS on the objectives of this conference.

Rana, DG Pakistan House, believes that Pakistani politics represents a paradox; here military interventions have interfered with the development of democracy and political institutions but these military interventions have provided economic structures and stability -and often better governance.

Rana thinks that this paradox needs to be examined and expects that panelists will also touch upon the increased complexities of governance and delivery in Pakistan – especially since the devolution instilled by the 18th Amendment in 2010.

Both sessions have invited a Keynote Speaker Mr. Hafeez Choudhary. Mr. Choudhary who is being described as a founder of “Vision for Pakistan” 

He points out that while Westminster parliamentary system has served England well, it needs to be discussed if it has also served Pakistan well? And if not then why not? Could Presidential system – like in Turkey – provide a solution to Pakistan’s unique challenges?

Pakistan House: Active from Islamabad to Copenhagen

Pakistan House is active between Islamabad, Copenhagen, and London since 2012. It has organized several conferences on national and international issues – attracting experts from across the world. Its has diverse areas of interest that include: Pakistan’s Foreign relations, Trade & Tourism, Climate Change, Energy & Power Crisis and is working to generate ideas on Counter-Terrorism (CT) and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)

General Ehsan Ul Haq NI (M) (retd), former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is the founding Chairman of Pakistan House and appears to be the inspirational force behind this think tanks. Gen. Ehsan, unlike many of his contemporaries, has remained active in think tank circuit world over despite his retirement more than 10 years ago.

Read more: Pakistani Democracy: From Electoral Politics to Governance

Rana Athar Javed is Director-General and main executive and organizer of conferences by Pakistan House and divides his time between Copenhagen and Islamabad. Other prominent board members include Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik (retd), Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani (retd), Brig Riazullah Chib (retd) Amb. Salman Bashir (retd), Amb. Zamir Akram (retd)

Sessions of the Conference & Panelists 

Monday’s conference has two sessions. The first session is focused on “Constitutional Reform: Achievements and Failure of Political System“. Panelists for the session are: Lt Gen Naeem Lodhi, former Interim Defence Minister, Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif (MQM) – Sindh, Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad Ahmad, former Federal Secretary Election Commission, Senator Anwar Ul Haq Kakar PML (N), Balochistan and Ms. Naz Baloch (MNA) PPP (Sindh).

Both sessions have invited a Keynote Speaker Mr. Hafeez Choudhary. Mr. Choudhary is relatively unknown in Islamabad’s circles but is being described as a founder of “Vision for Pakistan” and a philanthropist from the United States.

Read more: PPP governance a total failure: PM Khan hears grievances of Sindh lawmakers

Second Session will address, “Governance and Implementation: Bureaucracy, Media, Opinion and Dialogue“. This session involves four key media persons including Dr. Moeed Pirzada, Editor of Global Village Space and a prominent TV Anchor, Mr. Abdul Malik,  CEO Hum News Channel, and prominent TV anchor, Fahd Hussain, Editor Dawn Islamabad, and prominent TV Anchor and Mr. Hassan Khan, Senior anchorperson at Khyber News – a Pashto channel.

Amongst these media personalities is perched Maj Gen Ejaz Awan (Retd). Former ambassador and a senior defense analyst. Gen. Awan, in his long military career, had also served in Swat during the operations against the Taliban in 2009.

Conference also expects few special speakers; these include; Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan (JI) KPK, Senator Muhammad Zahid Khan (ANP) KPK, and Amb. Shamshad Ahmad Khan, former foreign secretary and Ambassador.