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What is this website about?

Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) works in the service of democracy, peace and development in Bavaria, Germany and beyond. Since more than 50 years, HSF has been a respected global partner on good governance, the rule of law, and contacts with Germany.

Being part of the broader German development cooperation, the Munich-based foundation is currently implementing more than 97 projects in about 71 countries worldwide, including Pakistan. It is the first German political foundation to work in Pakistan; since decades HSF has strengthened parliamentary and academic structures while pursuing a partnership-based approach that focuses on ownership by local organizations and transparency.

This website shall inform you about the foundation's overall mission, its work in Pakistan including focus areas, Pakistani collaborations and Country Office, scholarships for academic studies in Pakistan and Germany, and publications including press releases. The independent webpages for Young Leaders on our nation-wide debating event Model CCI and on our prestigious alumni network HSF Fellows have also been developed. You will find all current vacancy advertisements of HSF Pakistan at join our team.

To find out more about who we are and what we do, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. To see photos of our events, make sure to visit our Instagram gallery. The HSF country profile page Pakistan (in German) can be found at weltweit aktiv.


What is HSF?

Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF, in German: Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung) is a German political foundation that is affiliated to the German governing party Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU). Since its founding in 1967, HSF has been engaged in democratic and civic education. This educational work is based on an idea of man that incorporates the free development of personality and personal responsibility just as much as social responsibility and solidarity. The institution is named after Hanns Seidel, the former Prime Minister of Bavaria (1957-1960) and former CSU Chairman (1955-1961). "The Work of the Hanns Seidel Foundation" in Germany and worldwide is presented in this e-book.

Is HSF a member of any greater political network?

Amongst others, HSF is a member foundation of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the official think tank of the centre-right European People's Party. HSF is also a member of the European Network of Political Foundations from 22 countries within the EU.

Why is HSF Munich-based?

HSF is a CSU-associated organization. CSU operates only in Bavaria and is headquartered in Munich.

On German political foundations

What is a German political foundation?

A German political foundation (in German: Politische Stiftung) is a party-associated and mostly taxpayer-money funded political organization in Germany. Each political foundation is associated to a party that has been elected to seats in the German federal parliament (in German: Bundestag) as a constant political power. All political foundations intent to strengthen and stabilize democratic development in Germany and internationally through political education.

Why political education?

Political education is required for democratic development. German political foundations offer education on democracy to create an open society that is able to participate in the democratic development process with as much knowledge as possible. Since understanding of democracy needs to be secured again with each generation, political contexts always need to be made clear, especially to young people.

Why do German political foundations work abroad at all?

We live in a globalized and multilateral world: the more people and governments interact, the more they need to work together in a responsible manner and create lasting networks. Non-governmental organizations like political foundations also offer the possibility to deal with social and political issues worldwide at the most immediate level, namely with the citizens. The slogan of HSF is: in the service of democracy, peace and development. Therefore, we stand for a comprehensive approach in the field of development cooperation.

Are German political foundations governmental or non-governmental organizations?

From an international perspective, the German political foundations are unique and they are non-governmental: they are not owned or funded by (but funded via) the German government’s executive branch and they are financially, legally and organizationally independent of each political party. As independent non-profit organizations, the foundations work by order of the German federal parliament and they receive most of their funding from there as well. Nevertheless, all programs are independent from the German federal parliament as well.

Are German political foundations part of the German development cooperation?

Yes, German political foundations are part of the broader German development cooperation and receive their funding via the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (see above). Their central development-policy task is the sustainable promotion or establishment of democracy and civil society. Being independent entities, the foundations can even act in ways which are largely independent of agreements made within the framework of the bilateral government development cooperation.

On HSF Pakistan

What is HSF currently doing in Pakistan?

As defined in HSF’s current focus areas, the organization is strengthening 1) the constitutional structures in Pakistan, 2) the regional and international dialogue between Germany, Pakistan and its neighbors, and 3) the understanding of non-traditional security challenges, so that policy makers can make informed decisions, point out specific issues, or readjust existing policies.

Within these focus areas, the initiatives always come from our Pakistani partners who strive to find local solutions to local problems in order to create sustainable stability. HSF also strives for this stability and understands to be part of an interconnected world: our partnership-based approach focuses on ownership by local organizations and transparency. For more information, please cf. this with our work in Pakistan.

The latest HSF factsheet on the political system of Pakistan and HSF Pakistan's activities for its strengthening can be found here (in German).

Who does HSF work with in Pakistan?

You may find a list of HSF Pakistan's collaborations on the homepage.

What is Model CCI?

Model CCI is part of the HSF initiative Young Leaders and a nation-wide simulation of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) at numerous Pakistani universities. Model CCI has been organized by HSF in cooperation with the Senate of Pakistan, the Higher Education Commission and the Ministry for Interprovincial Cooperation since 2015. HSF offers the best students of this debating competition the opportunity to partake in a number of events in Pakistan and Europe. For more information on this please see our independent webpage on Model CCI.

Does HSF Pakistan support partner events during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, we do. Most of our current events are online. Physical events always comply with Pakistani law and the most stringent hygiene and safety guidelines, such as face masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing, and temperature checks.

How can I follow HSF Pakistan's current activities?

To find out more about our current projects in Pakistan, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. To see photos of our past events, make sure to visit our Instagram gallery.

Where are the press releases of HSF Pakistan saved?

You may find the latest press releases of HSF Pakistan here. For press photos, please contact our Country Office. Kindly note that German press releases of HSF HQ are published on the main press website of HSF Germany.

Does HSF Pakistan participate in the annual German-Pakistan Government-to-Government Negotiations or Consultations?

Since HSF is not a governmental organization, it is not part of any Government-to-Government Negotiations or Consultations, but an independent entity within the broader German-Pakistan development cooperation.

What is the legal basis for HSF working in Pakistan?

It's the Memorandum of Understanding between HSF and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan from 2021.

On working with HSF Pakistan

How can my organization become a partner of HSF Pakistan?

If your local organization works in the service of democracy, peace and development in Pakistan or South Asia, you are welcome to present your project proposal to us. You will find our contact details here.

Please note that due to HSF's rules and regulations all our project activities must be planned thoroughly and in good time. HSF can only support project activities that are initiated and fostered by partners and in accordance with its triennial focus areas. All partner organizations are required to contribute to the respective project activities.

Can I work with HSF Pakistan?

Yes, you can, and we appreciate your interest in our office! HSF Pakistan continuously publishes job vacancies on this website including paid internships for students.

Kindly make sure to submit your complete application documents exactly as per the job advertisements, since we cannot accept any unsolicited or incomplete applications or applications submitted via social media channels. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

How to contact HSF Pakistan?

You can contact our Management Team here.

On scholarships

Why the HSF Scholarship Programme?

Our scholarship programmes promote talented individuals. They enrich studies – and not just financially. More than 1,000 fellows are currently receiving a scholarship from HSF’s Institute for Scholarship Programmes. These scholarships consist of both conceptual and financial support to contribute to the education of personally and academically qualified young academics and to reward outstanding scholarly achievements in doctoral programmes. Conceptual support means: participating in courses aimed at enabling fellows to critically and constructively contribute to the development of the democratic rule of law. For more information please cf. this with our flyer.

Can HSF finance my academic studies in Germany?

Yes, HSF offers scholarships to young Pakistani graduates and postgraduates who are exceptional in their academic performance and can speak German well. The Foundation financially supports them with up to 1,200 Euro per month for up to two years plus additional travel allowances etc. For more information, please see studying in Germany.

I am an Afghan refugee in Pakistan. Can HSF finance my academic studies?

Yes, if you are registered as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan and enrolled at a Pakistani university, HSF can finance your academic studies. For more information on this, please visit the web page of the Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program (HSSP) and see below.

On HSSP scholarships

Why does HSF support Afghan students in Pakistan?

We believe that Afghan students in Pakistan are agents of positive change in Pakistan and Afghanistan: they can contribute to the rebuilding of their home country when they return to Afghanistan in the future.

By offering scholarships to registered Afghan refugees at Pakistani universities, HSF and its local partners also strengthen the regional role of Pakistan as a constructive contributor to peace, stability and connectivity in South Asia.

Does the HSSP scholarship support undergraduate or graduate degree programs?

The HSSP scholarship grants can be availed for both undergraduate and graduate full-time degree programs.

What does the HSSP scholarship cover?

With a monthly lumpsum grant of 30,000.00 PKR, HSSP contributes to all major student expenses (living costs, academic fees, stationery, books, etc.) at HEC recognized universities in Pakistan.

Moreover, all students receive a laptop for their academic studies and social engagement (must be returned to HSF afterwards). HSSP also includes numerous trainings, events and activities (paid and organized by HSF and its partners) as conceptual support and on-the-job trainings (paid by HSF and self-organized by the students) as professional support.

Does the scholarship money need to be paid back to HSF?

No, the financial support doesn't need to be paid back since it is not a loan, but an academic scholarship.

Are there any specific fields of study that HSSP scholarship will support?

HSSP scholarship are open for all fields of study.

What should I submit with my scholarship application?

Please see here for all required documents.

Can I apply for an HSSP scholarship in the middle of my study program?

Yes, you can. In fact, you can only apply for HSSP if you are already enrolled in a study program.

Can I re-apply after my last application has been declined?

Yes, you can re-apply. It is actually recommended to do so if you have gained new academic competencies and social engagements since your last application.

What is the deadline for applying?

There is no deadline. Applications are possible all year round. However, scholarships will be granted as per availability. Currently, 30 full scholarships are available per year. Therefore, "the early bird catches the worm."

Can I receive the HSSP scholarship if I am already receiving another one?

HSSP intends to offer full support to students. If you are already receiving a full scholarship, you are not eligible to also receive the HSSP scholarship at the same time.

If I am awarded the HSSP scholarship, what are the conditions for the continuation of the scholarship?

The scholarship funding shall continue for the next semester subject to satisfactory academic performance, attendance in the class and participation in HSF events and activities such as the HSF Fellows network and community engagement.

I have submitted an application without following the formal requirements. Can you accept my application anyway?

Following all stated formal requirements (such as document lengths or type) is a prerequisite for applying. Please take them very seriously! 

Where can I download the application form?

You may find all information and required documents here.

I am Afghan transgender studying as a registered refugee in Pakistan. Can I apply?

Transgender Afghan refugee students are strongly encouraged to apply.

I am an HSSP recipient. Can HSF Pakistan also support my studies in Germany?

Yes, students with the best academic performance can be considered for further academic studies in Germany, such as Ph.D. studies.

Who is HSF's local partner for HSSP?

The local partner of HSF Pakistan for the HSSP scholarship project is the National Dialogue Forum, a non-partisan public policy organization in Islamabad.

Who finances these scholarships for Afghan refugees in Pakistan?

All HSSP scholarships are funded by the "Special Initiative Flight" of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

I have more questions about HSSP. Who to ask?

For answers to more specific questions on HSSP, please visit our HSSP page. If your questions don't get answered there, please contact Ms. Amna Akhtar at HSSP(at) or +92 51 843 8085.

On HSF Alumni

What is the HSF Alumni Network?

The HSF Pakistan initiative Young Leaders includes a prestigious Alumni Network. This network brings together young talented people of exceptional academic achievement and outstanding political or social commitment who take on responsibility in Pakistan's society and are keen to broaden their international horizon. All Young Leaders are nominated by HSF Pakistan.

Other questions

Where can I find out more about the German-Pakistan cooperation in general?

For general information on the German-Pakistan development cooperation, please visit the Pakistan country profile of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. For more information on the German-Pakistan bilateral relations, make sure to visit the Pakistan page of the German Federal Foreign Office and the homepage of Pakistan's Embassy in Germany.

You will find information on the current Pakistan projects of the German development agency GIZ on its country page.

What is HSF's role in this broader German-Pakistan cooperation?

HSF is not a big ship in the vast sea of the German development cooperation. But due to its lean structures, efficient processes and quick decision-making, it serves as an agile speedboat in German foreign politics: being directly mandated by the Federal Parliament Bundestag, HSF works independently(!) of bilateral government agreements.