Due to the initiative of former Minister President of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauss, HSF has been active in Pakistan in the service of democracy, peace and development since 1983. After the establishment and management of a technical training center in Loralai in Balochistan, HSF opened an office in Islamabad in 1993 thus extending the scope of its development work across the whole country.
Since then, HSF has been collaborating with the secretariats of both parliamentary chambers as well as with research institutes, think-tanks and public universities for the purpose of strengthening democratic structures in Pakistan. Today, the Foundation is regularly involved in activities all over the country with a focus on the federal capital Islamabad, and the provincial capitals of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
Even though HSF works by order of the German federal parliament, it is an independent organization that can act independently of agreements made within the bilateral government development cooperation.
Since 2012, HSF Pakistan has increasingly focused on projects related to good governance through constitutional understanding, intraregional and interregional dialogue, and expertise in areas relevant to sustainable political development, such as non-traditional security challenges.
Until today, these HSF projects in Pakistan have encompassed training sessions, publications, seminars and conferences where researchers and experts from around the world share and exchange their thoughts and experiences.
After the ratification of the 18th Constitutional Amendment which reformed the federal structures of Pakistan, HSF and its partner organizations have strived to strengthen these structures and the better understanding of Pakistan's concept of subsidiarity through democratic devolution.
This focus area includes providing support to parliamentary work, legislative capacity building, training future and young politicians, and interprovincial coordination and cooperation. The goals are achieved through political trainings and workshops, civic education programmes, policy dialogue and knowledge transfer, alumni networks, lecture series, seminars and conferences.
The latest HSF factsheet on the political system of Pakistan and HSF Pakistan's activities for its strengthening can be found here (in German).
In regional perspective, Pakistan’s geostrategic position makes it an important international partner for peace and development in South Asia. In close consultation with Pakistani government institutions, research organizations and universities, HSF supports the better understanding of intraregional dynamics and their impact on the situation in Pakistan. Furthermore, it attempts to strengthen connectivity and exchange between Pakistan and other Asian countries, including the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral dialogue.
In addition to that, HSF seeks to develop and solidify contacts between political, security and academic stakeholders from Pakistan, Germany and Europe through delegation visits, exchange meetings and topical events of mutual interest. This interregional dialogue complements the intraregional one while both being thematically interwoven.
Non-traditional security challenges are generally considered to be of non-military origin in nature, but result in significant security threats to the well-being of people. In the context of Pakistan, these challenges include but are not limited to climate change, water scarcity, digitization, food security, infectious diseases such as COVID-19, rapid population growth and migration. Formulating answers to such national risks is a prerequisite for sustainable political development.
Through its project work on non-traditional security challenges, Team HSF Pakistan supports policy makers to make informed decisions, point out specific issues, or re-adjust existing policies in light of research and expert opinions. Moreover, HSF Pakistan connects experts from South Asia and Europe to come together on multilateral platforms to discuss and find solutions for challenges for peace and development.
The Foundation also offers scholarships to talented Pakistani students to pursue their graduate studies at renowned universities in Germany, or research in Pakistan on projects about constitutional structures, regional dialogue or non-traditional security challenges.
HSF Pakistan is collaborating with a number of national and international partners from multiple fields to strengthen democratic structures, improve regional understanding and promote academic expertise in Pakistan.
The following renowned organizations work in close collaboration with the Management Team of HSF in Pakistan:
The Parliament of Pakistan is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. HSF is one of the oldest partners of this bicameral federal legislature.
The upper legislative chamber, the Senate of Pakistan or Aiwān-e-Bālā Pākistān, has been a partner of HSF since 1994 (MoU renewal in 2020). The Senate's composition and powers are established by Article 59 of the Constitution of Pakistan from 1973. It has 100 members who serve six-year terms, and the Senate functions as a stabilizing factor of the federation. Both HSF and the Senate have undertaken a number of initiatives including bilateral delegation visits and capacity building events with Senators and the Senate Secretariat. Currently, the Senate of Pakistan only works with two international partners, one of whom is HSF Pakistan.
HSF is also working with the National Assembly of Pakistan or Aiwān-e-Zairīñ of Pākistān on strengthening legislation. The National Assembly is the lower legislative house and consists of a total of 342 members serving five-year terms of which 272 are directly elected and 70 reserved seats for women and religious minorities. The first cooperation between HSF and the lower house of parliament began in 1993, and the first Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 1994 (renewal in 2020).
Formed in 2004, the Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs has a total membership of 12 Senators. The proceedings of the Committee have created awareness among the public-at-large and have added to their interest in matters of national and international importance.
HSF Pakistan has been a close partner of this important committee since 2007.
HSF is currently renewing its cooperation with the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination. The Ministry is responsible for the coordination between the federal and the provincial governments. It aids both the provincial and the federal entities in providing uniformity of approach in the formulation of policies that concern both.
The Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) is a public policy institution with a mission to help improve policy and decision-making through analysis and research. CGSS aims to produce quality research that helps the end-users to formulate policies, legislation and solutions for sustainable development.
HSF Pakistan and CGSS have recently (collaboration since 2020) focused on water conservation and management issues in Pakistan as well as the scope and challenges of digitalization in Pakistan.
The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) is a government financed think-tank and research organization based in Islamabad. The aim of the ISSI is to generate better understanding of regional and global issues affecting international peace and security.
HSF Pakistan contributes to the mission of ISSI through its distinguished guest lecturer series and academic exchanges between German and Pakistani researchers along with a Fellowship Program focusing on non-traditional security challenges particularly from new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. ISSI and HSF have been partners since 1994.
The Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness (SFEA) is a civil society organization actively engaged in the process of constructive social change. It's objectives are met through all-inclusive nationwide community engagement activities, multi-faceted advocacy projects, capacity building programs and strategic communication campaigns.
HSF and SFEA will collaborate in 2021 on the nationwide expansion of the PCDP project.
The Centre for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS), Hyderabad is a non-profit civic initiative established in 2001 by a group of scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds. CPCS is an independent think-tank that works for strengthening the political and civil society based on principles of democracy, freedom, secularism and social justice.
HSF has worked with CPCS since 2013 on cross-party capacity building of young politicians to strengthen local governance.
The National Dialogue Forum (NDF) is a non-partisan public policy organization based in Islamabad. NDF adheres to the simple but efficacious idea of ‘unity in diversity’ and it advocates for a public policy that fosters pluralism and inclusiveness in Pakistan.
Since 2020, NDF and HSF have both worked together in the field of political dialogue in the region.
The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is a renowned non-profit university in Lahore and one of Pakistan’s major contributors to outstanding academic research.
HSF supports LUMS in carrying out policy-oriented research on key political and social issues. Currently, HSF Pakistan is working with the Centre for Chinese Legal Studies at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law on legal and regulatory strategies for the coordination and commercial oversight of Pakistan’s response to COVID-19. Through this important research, LUMS will identify and provide actionable policy approaches for the Government of Pakistan to effectively tackle the pandemic crisis.
Being part of the renowned National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), the Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS) conducts research and training in matters related to the overarching discipline of Peace & Conflict Studies with a particular focus on UN Peacekeeping Missions. It is devoted to identifying and analyzing the nature of conflict with a view to finding solutions through peaceful and non-violent means.
HSF has collaborated with NUST since 2014 by providing research grants and fellowships on issues of national integration and security such as the situation in post-conflict North Waziristan Agency and conventional security challenges facing Pakistan.
The Area Study Centre for Europe (ASCE) at the University of Karachi regularly holds international conferences and seminars addressing issues of concern for South Asia as well as Europe with a particular focus on Europe’s relation with Pakistan, the Muslim world and the developing world. The Centre regularly publishes the bi-annual Journal of European Studies which is abstracted by the Political Science Abstracts, Paris. ASCE has been a project partner of HSF since 1994.
The Department of Political Science (HSF partner since 2011) of the University of Peshawar is catering to the academic needs of Peshawar but also of the whole province and newly merged districts of erstwhile FATA. The department aims to fuse the traditional aims of liberal arts education while attempting to come to grips with the major public issues of contemporary world.
The mission of the Department of History (HSF partner since 2015) is to use the knowledge of history, through impartial analysis of the past and present, as a corrective force, as those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat the same mistakes.
The COMSATS University Islamabad is a public university in Pakistan with its main campus in Islamabad and satellite campuses all over Pakistan.
HSF Pakistan and COMSATS University have routinely collaborated since 2013 in arranging conferences and seminars on relevant political and social issues.
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur has played a major role in furthering the nation’s social, cultural, business and economic development by providing highly skilled manpower. Its Department of Political Science has collaborated with HSF Pakistan since 2021 on Constitutional Structures.
Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad (QAU) is among Pakistan's largest and highest ranked public universities with its four faculties and nine affiliated research institutes. The university is nationally known for its research, technological advancement, and intellectual interaction with international institutes.
Since 2012, HSF has supported the academic research ecosystem of QAU through workshops, international conferences and research scholarships in collaboration with the DAAD Long Term Guest Professor and faculty members from a number of departments, including the National Institute for Pakistan Studies (since 2012), the National Institute for Historical and Cultural Research (since 2015), the Centre for Excellence in Gender Studies (since 2016), the Department of Sociology (since 2016), the Department of Anthropology (since 2016), and the School of Politics and International Relations (since 2021).
Over the past years, HSF has worked with numerous universities all over Pakistan by engaging their students and faculty members in its simulation of the Council of Common Interests (CCI). The Model CCI includes training workshops and simulation exercises on the workings of CCI in Pakistan. HSF has also worked towards improving the quality of research work at these universities by conducting research methodology workshops all over Pakistan since 2016.
The German Federal Council Bundesrat is Germany's "upper house" of parliament. It is supported by its Secretariat in carrying out legislative duties effectively.
HSF Pakistan strives to increase the bilateral engagement between the German Federal Council and the Senate of Pakistan through delegation visits and training workshops on important issues such as on the principle of subsidiarity and legislative drafting.
HSF provides technical support and financial assistance to researchers from Pakistan to participate in a summer school on federalism, conflict resolution and good governance in UK, organized by the Canterbury Christ Church University and Centre for European Studies.
The Winter School on Federalism and Governance is a common cross-border project of the Italian Institute for Comparative Federalism of Eurac Research, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Innsbruck, Austria.
HSF Pakistan facilitates participation of young academics and students from Pakistan in this Winter School in the EU to broaden their understanding on political values associated with good governance as well as equipping them with much-needed research skills.
The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (MPFPR) provides assistance to the reconstruction or restructuring of the internal organisation to states which have experienced radical change in relation to their constitutional law. The Foundation is an affiliate of the renowned Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science from Munich, Germany.
HSF Pakistan and MPFPR have signed their first Memorandum of Understanding in 2020. HSF Pakistan is supporting the Foundation in conducting training workshops and providing institutional support for lawmakers as well as legislative drafters from the Senate and National Assembly of Pakistan.
HSF Pakistan is engaged in regular exchange with other HSF offices worldwide, especially in Asia. Currently, it is cooperating with HSF Shandong (China) on questions of structural policies in the context of intraregional dialogue.
HSF Pakistan along with some of its European stakeholders commemorated the International Day of Parliamentarism on 30th June 2021.
The German MEP Michael Gahler, Spokesman on Foreign Affairs for the European People's Party Group, celebrated the World Parliament Day in Brussels, Belgium with a video message on the need for inclusive parliaments.
2021 is the year when Germany and Pakistan are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
As this makes it a special year, HSF Pakistan is planning multiple special initiatives during the official “German Weeks” to celebrate. Some of our planned activities will include:
Being part of the broader German development cooperation in Pakistan, we cannot wait to celebrate with you!
Pakistan-Afghanistan relations are of utmost importance for stability and peace in South Asia. As part of our focus area Intraregional and Interregional Dialogue, HSF Pakistan and its project partner NDF proudly support the cultural and political exchange between both countries.
Follow us on social media (see below) to stay updated on this new initiative or head over to the project website!
HSF has been active in Pakistan since 1983 and it established its first Country Office in Islamabad in 1993. Today, this Country Office consists of a dynamic and experienced team of international and Pakistani professionals who work with distinguished partner organizations in the service of democracy, peace and development.
The particulars of the permanently employed HSF Pakistan professionals and job openings can be found here.
Hanns Seidel Foundation Pakistan | Country Office
Block 4B | Entrance 1 | Bhittai Road | F-7 Markaz | 44000 Islamabad | Pakistan | Map
T +92 51 843 8085 | E islamabad(at)hss.de
For all general requests including unsolicited job applications please e-mail Mr. Ahsen Masood at islamabad(at)hss.de. Usually, you can reach our office staff on weekdays from 09:00 to 17:00 (Pakistan Time).