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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’s overall goal in Pakistan?

HSF aims to strengthen democratic structures and processes in Pakistan on governance, international dialogue and security dialogue in the context of SDG 16 and SDG 17. This is being achieved through four specific project goals.

Does HSF support any specific party politics in Pakistan?

HSF works politically in Pakistan, but not party politically in the sense of collaborating with any specific Pakistani political party, party political movement or individual. The meaning of "political" goes beyond party politics: the English term originates from the Greek term "pólis". "Pólis" translates as "state administration" or "(democratic) citizenship". Being a German political foundation, HSF intends to support democratic development in general.

What is HSF specifically doing in Pakistan?

As defined in HSF’s current focus areas, the organization is strengthening

  • the constitutional structures in Pakistan (project goal 1),
  • intraregional dialogue between multipliers in the South Asia region (project goal 2),
  • interregional dialogue between multipliers from South Asia and Germany/Europe (project goal 3), and
  • the understanding of non-traditional security challenges (project goal 4), 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. A detailed portfolio brochure of HSF Pakistan can be found here. The latest HSF factsheet on the political system of Pakistan and HSF Pakistan's activities for its strengthening can be found here (in German). 

What have been HSF's activities in 2021 and 2020?

To get a good impression on our project activities in 2021 please watch the HSF Pakistan 2021 Activities Recap, for the year 2020 feel free to watch HSF Pakistan in 2020. You may find other relevant project videos in the official YouTube channel

Who does HSF work with in Pakistan?

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

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.

What is the International Summer Workshop?

The International Summer Workshop (ISW) is joint initiative of HSF Pakistan and the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) to bring together young scholars from across the region to better understand the broader concept of regional connectivity in the Pakistan-Afghanistan and Central Asia context. The ISW intends to serve as a multi-day platform for facilitating a better dialogue and understanding between socio-political multipliers that will allow the creation of an environment fostering peace and cooperation in South and Central Asia, with a particular focus on the Pakistan-Afghanistan region.

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.

What is the difference between working as a partner with HSF and working as a consultant for HSF?

We take the concept of partnership seriously: in partnerships parties agree to closely cooperate to advance their mutual interests and have specified and joint rights and responsibilities. In contrast, a consultancy provides paid professional or expert advice.

HSF supports its project partners to increase the outreach and impact of their own work. This means that the partner organizations own and finance their projects by covering their own administrative costs required to run these specific projects (e.g. most staff costs and office running costs), while HSF "chips in" substantial support to co-finance the core costs of the projects (e.g. local/international experts related costs and fees, venue costs, publications) to make the partner's work even greater.

On the other hand, consultants are directly hired by HSF to do a certain job for HSF. They are selected through tendering and all costs and fees must be according to the local market, as confirmed by the German Embassy Islamabad. In this case, HSF can finance the entire consultation. In short: partnerships always require significant "partner contributions", consultancies require competition and local appropriateness.

For instance, if a Pakistani organization plans to hold a local conference on a topic relevant to HSF's project goals, HSF can support this activity, give it international exposure and outreach, and cover big parts of the conference expenses. In this case, the organization would be HSF's project partner.

However, if the organization wants to offer the paid service of organizing and implementing a conference to HSF (including respective staff salaries, administrative costs, venue costs etc.), it cannot be HSF's project partner, but only its service provider. Any such service contract must be according to the local Pakistani market rates and the result of a strict tendering process, as per German law. Lump-sums (such as for administrative overheads) can only be paid to service providers; they are defined as "partner contributions" otherwise.

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 incomplete or incorrect applications or applications submitted via social media channels.

For unsolicited job applications please e-mail Mr. Ahsen Masood at islamabad(at) We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Why does HSF Pakistan offer paid internships for local students?

Understanding the importance of practical work experience for Pakistani youth, HSF offers several internships per year for local students including HSF Fellows and HSSP scholarship holders at its office as well as with its partners. To enable the students to learn from us, HSF supports them with a monthly expense allowance of 37,000 PKR.

As stipulated by Pakistani law, an internship is not an employment relationship, but part of the intern’s academic and professional education. We understand and respect that!

Why does HSF Pakistan offer "hospitations" for German students?

HSF Pakistan offers "hospitations" (Latin "hospitari" = to be a guest) for native German speakers to promote academic and cultural exchange between the people of Pakistan and Germany. These selected German students are invited to visit HSF Pakistan. During their guest stay in Islamabad, they learn to better understand Pakistan, its people and culture, the internal structures of the Foundation and its work processes in the Country Office. Each guest stay is limited to a duration of three to maximum six months.

"Hospitations" are never employment relationships, but always part of showing hospitality to a guest student from Germany and supporting his/her academic and professional education as well as regional knowledge. German guest students do not receive any salary or remuneration from HSF Pakistan. However, HSF Germany will support them with a monthly student allowance to cover their most necessary expenses such as travel costs.

Why are certain job openings for German-speakers only?

Since HSF is a German political foundation, some of its work needs to be done in German. This may include project proposals, report writing, parts of administration, communication with German entities etc. Therefore, certain HSF job positions require a good working knowledge of the German language. Most HSF positions are for English speakers though.

Why are new job openings for Pakistani nationals only?

For legal reasons, new job positions at HSF can only be given to Pakistani nationals (including Pakistani nationals with dual citizenship). Foreign nationals cannot be hired as per the current Memorandum of Understanding of HSF with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

How to contact HSF Pakistan?

You can contact our Management Team here at Office & Contact.

On scholarships

Are scholarships consultancies?

Consultants are directly hired by HSF to do a certain job for HSF (see above). They are selected through tendering and all costs and fees must be according to the local market, as confirmed by the German Embassy Islamabad.

Scholarship holders, on the other hand, receive financial support to further their education. They are not required to repay their scholarships, but the awards require that the recipients continue to meet certain clearly defined requirements during their period of support.

For instance, research grants are no employments to produce certain research results (such as publications) for HSF, but they should enable students to focus fully on their academic research studies (during which publications may be side products) so that they don’t need to have additional employments.

Can HSF finance my academic studies in Germany?

Yes, HSF offers scholarships to young Pakistani and Afghan 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 the relevant webpage and information flyer.

Why the German Scholarship Program?

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 support my research activities in Switzerland?

Yes, HSF can support the research activities of talented scholars from Pakistan and Afghanistan in Switzerland. The respective HSF scholarship covers all eligible costs related to the research visits in the fields of democratic devolution, state organization, democracy, rule of law or human rights at the Institute of Federalism (IFF), University of Fribourg.

I have been accepted as a guest researcher at IFF. Does this guarantee HSF's support?

Please note that the 1) IFF Guest Researcher Program and the 2) HSF scholarship for 1) need to be applied for independently. 1) is the precondition of 2), but it doesn't guarantee 2) since both institutions IFF and HSF are organizationally and legally different from another. Moreover, 2) also requires the willingness to support the project work of HSF with expertise after the completion of the IFF research visit.

Can HSF support my research activitities in Pakistan?

Yes, HSF supports strives to add value to an already vibrant and innovative research culture in Pakistan by supporting researchers. For more information please see here.

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 33,000.00 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 HSSP support Afghan refugee families too?

HSSP aims to support talented individual students. Therefore, the support program has been carefully designed with our partner NDF as per the needs of individuals only. However, several members of a family (such as siblings) can avail HSSP individually if they meet the stated requirements.

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. In case of scholarship annullation due to misinformation or forgery, the scholarship money needs to be paid back to HSF Pakistan though.

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

HSF believes in diversity and talent. 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 receive HSSP if I have an Afghan Citizen Card (ACC) instead of a Proof of Registration (PoR) card?

Due to legal reasons, you can only avail HSSP if you hold a valid PoR card.

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. At least twice a year all received applications are being thoroughly reviewed. Currently, 30 full scholarships are available per year. Therefore, "the early bird catches the worm." :)

When will I hear back from Team HSSP?

Please note that due to the high number of applications, it might take Team HSSP several months to come back to you. So please be patient and refrain from follow-up questions on the current status of your application!

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.

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

HSSP intends to offer full support to outstanding students. Principally, every student can apply for it. But you can only receive it if you meet the necessary requirements and if you are selected by the HSSP Committee. If you are already receiving another full scholarship (such as DAFI or Allama Iqbal Scholarships), you are not eligible to also receive the HSSP scholarship at the same time, as per HSF's rules and regulations.

Please note that purely idealistic scholarships (such as carrier networking scholarships, job newsletters, academic research groups etc.) do not count as full scholarships. Feel free to contact us on this in case of questions.

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.

Why is the asked application information so specific?

Following very specific instructions is one of the selection criteria in the pre-selection rounds of HSSP.

What happens if I cannot meet all the selection criteria of HSSP?

We encourage students who meet most of the selection criteria, but not all of them, to be honest about this and to submit their applications anyway. For instance, if they are already receiving other scholarships, they must proactively mention this in the application form.

HSSP intends to offer the best possible support for Afghan refugee students in Pakistan. In return, we have the highest expectations from our scholarship holders: they need to be of outstanding character and show excellent academic and social performance. Therefore, HSF has a zero tolerance policy on misinformation or forgery.

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.

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 or see this introductory flyer. If your questions don't get answered there, please contact Team HSSP at or +92 51 843 8085 (on weekdays from 09:00 to 17:00).

On Young Leaders

Who are HSF's Young Leaders?

HSF's Young Leaders are all talented students and young professionals, who, through HSF’s platform, are enabled to gain practical experience and foster their future career. This includes the Young South Asia Network (YSAN), Model CCI, the Political Cadre Development Program (PCDP), and HSF Fellows.

What is YSAN and how can I join it?

YSAN is the latest initiative by HSF Asia to support young and promising future leaders from South Asia by providing them the opportunity to engage with their global counterparts and enable them to shape their countries’ future.

All relevant information about YSAN, Urban Sustainability in 2022, eligibility criteria, application process and deadlines, please visit HSF Asia's YSAN website.

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.

What is the PCDP and where is it active right now?

PCDP is the flagship political education program of HSF Pakistan. It aims to strengthen the capacity of mid-level and young political workers through intensive training workshops on democratic devolution, provincial autonomy and local government.

PCDP is currently being implemented in selected districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces by the Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness.

What are HSF Fellows and how can I become one?

HSF Fellows is the prestigious alumni network of HSF Pakistan, with an aim to bring together talented people in Pakistan and support their holistic development. You can become part of the HSF Fellows network by participating in any one of HSF’s ongoing activities. For that, do keep yourself updated regularly through HSF's media platforms.

What are HSF's Trainings of Trainers?

The Training of Trainers (TOT) is an initiative of HSF Pakistan to strengthen democratic structures and good governance through an intensive workshop with relevant Pakistani multipliers. The TOT focuses on both political and democratic competencies of Young Leaders and on their didactic knowledge and skills.

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.

Why are the formal requirements for applications so specific and rigid?

Formal compliance serves as the first pre-selection criteria at HSF Pakistan. Following all formal requirements (such as document lengths or type) is a necessary condition for any application.

For instance, suppose the application requirement states to submit a "CV (max one page) as a pdf". Then at least it will be checked whether: 1) the application includes a complete, clear and systematically ordered CV, 2) all the resume information is reduced to one page of HSF relevant data, and 3) the respective document type is pdf.

How did HSF celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pakistan-Germany relations?

2021 was the year when Germany and Pakistan celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As this made it a special year, HSF Pakistan undertook multiple special initiatives during the official "German Weeks" to celebrate. Some of our activities included:

  • Study trip to EU institutions and NATO HQ, including meetings with German parliamentarians and experts
  • Promotion of scholarship opportunities for Pakistani students at German universities
  • Participation in the "German Days" event in Lahore along with other German organizations to celebrate 70 years of #PakGermanDosti