ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: On 30 June 2020, the German Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan and its partners commemorated the International Day of Parliamentarism and praised the cooperation with Pakistan’s parliament as being exemplary. They particularly highlighted the increased role of legislatures in upholding the public will and passing effective laws during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The HSF Chairman and Member of the European Parliament, Markus Ferber, has been a parliamentarian for more than 25 years. In his video message, he cited Pakistan as an excellent example of good cooperation between the Foundation and the national parliament:
Parliamentarism means freedom for the people, rule of law and that everyone has access to those who take decisions. That’s why we as Hanns Seidel Foundation are very engaged in cooperation between parliamentarians. […] We celebrate our good contacts with parliaments all over the world – I will only mention one: the Parliament of Pakistan with whom we have a really good cooperation.
The Honorable Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, in his special message stressed the significance of parliaments during the COVID-19 crisis:
Parliaments all over the world are grappling with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their constitutional obligations, such as oversight, lawmaking and public involvement. These are testing times which require extra ordinary steps and collaborations to address the extra ordinary circumstances; certainly parliaments have a vital role to play in protecting their populations and generating greater connectivity between nations to collectively address this pandemic.
Dr. Wolfgang Stefinger, who is a Member of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, reflected on the history of parliamentarism in Germany and on the state of parliamentary democracy around the world:
In Germany, we have never taken a stable parliamentary democracy for granted. To have a confident [and] independent parliament is a historical achievement for us. […] Even in places where functioning parliamentary democracy prevails, it needs to be defended constantly. Civil society plays a key role in this matter.
The Member of the Parliament of the Free State of Bavaria (Bayerischer Landtag), Alexander König, highlighted Bavaria’s support during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Parliaments need to pass emergency laws, allocate urgent funds, and analyze governmental responses to the crisis. […] Bavaria proudly helps its partners worldwide to strengthen good governance and sustainable development through international cooperation. Together, we will overcome the global coronavirus pandemic.
The eminent political scholar and convenor of Pakistan’s Parliamentary Research Group, Zafarullah Khan, called the parliament an important pillar of the modern democratic state:
In Pakistan, the parliament was entrusted with a core and critical role as delineated in the Constitution of 1973 and through 1,195 mandate bearers every inch of Pakistan has a representation and voice at the federal and provincial levels. During a pandemic, the parliamentary institutions must come up with prudent laws and appropriate budgetary allocations.
In his personal social media message, the Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, Dr. Steffen Kudella, added:
Democracies need parliaments: parliaments represent the interests of the people; they make sure that everyone can benefit from laws. I am proud that HSF is one of the oldest partners of the Parliament of Pakistan!
June 30 is the day designated by the UN to celebrate the International Day of Parliamentarism, parliaments and the ways in which parliamentary systems of government improve the day-to-day lives of people. It is also an opportunity for parliaments to take stock, identify challenges, and ways to address them effectively.
HSF is the oldest German political foundation in Pakistan, and it has been a partner of the Senate of Pakistan and the National Assembly of Pakistan since 1994. HSF Pakistan also cooperates with the German Federal Council Bundesrat and the renowned Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
You may find all the original messages quoted above at https://twitter.com/HSF_Pakistan. For more information on HSF’s work in Pakistan please visit: https://pakistan.hss.de. Press contact: islamabad(at)hss.de.
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: At a dinner reception at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on 14th January 2020, the Head of Division South/Southeast Asia of the German political Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), Mr. Stefan Burkhardt, bid farewell to the former Resident Representative, Mr. Kristof Duwaerts, and welcomed the new Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, Dr. Steffen Kudella.
Stefan Burkhardt analyzed that the handover of responsibilities from one Resident Representative to another also means a handover of ideas. With regard to HSF’s work in Pakistan he stressed:
Pakistan is a vital development partner of Germany. As a young democracy with a rapidly growing population and increasing economic growth, Pakistan has great potential to initiate the needed reforms.
In his welcome remarks, the Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany in Pakistan, Mr. Bernhard Schlagheck, praised the long-standing cooperation between Germany and Pakistan and particularly the well-established political work of HSF in Pakistan.
Senator Dr. Shahzad Waseem, a close friend of the Foundation, highlighted that despite its small size, HSF’s activities in Pakistan in particular and in the world in general are extremely significant. He said:
Although HSF is not a big ship in the vast sea of the German development cooperation, it serves as a very agile and flexible speedboat in foreign politics.
Kristof Duwaerts, current Regional Representative for Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, focused in his speech on the importance of Social Sciences for any democracy. He said:
Social sciences are the brain of politics, and the youth of Pakistan is the support structure without which the society cannot function.
The new Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, Dr. Steffen Kudella, analyzed the future relevance of HSF’s work, and highlighted:
The greatest challenges for humanity in the near future can only be tackled by international cooperation and political dialogue, [and] HSF works precisely in these fields.
The dinner reception was attended by many guests, including Senator Ms. Seemi Ezdi, official representatives from Senate Secretariat, numerous embassies and German political foundations, the Vice-Chancellor of the Islamia College University in Peshawar, several partner institutions of HSF, HSF alumni, and other dignitaries.
PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN: At a two-day conference at the University of Peshawar on 9-10 December 2019, speakers praised the 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for its unique spirit while discussing different clauses and articles of the Constitution.
Former Senator, Mr. Afrasiab Khattak, who was also the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session of the Conference, said that the 1973 Constitution provides outstanding platforms for interprovincial coordination and dialogue emphasizing that it has been a result of consensus among all the political parties; this principle of consensus is enshrined in the spirit of the Constitution. He said that the Constitution guarantees fundamental rights which makes it a document that belongs to every citizen of Pakistan.
The Conference was organized by the Department of History, University of Peshawar in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan. Dr. Steffen Kudella, the Resident Representative of the foundation, in his address said:
The Hanns Seidel Foundation supports this academic discussion on Pakistan’s Constitution in order to help strengthening the institutional structure of the country as it has been envisaged in the Constitution of 1973.
The Chairman of the Department of History, Dr. Salman Bangash, in his speech said:
Academia has always strived to play a positive and facilitating role in understanding the intricacies of the Constitution of Pakistan and will continue to do so in order to further support parliamentary democracy. While there might appear to be a few paradoxes in some clauses, they can be explained and rectified by academic discussions and dialogue.
The Conference was attended by Prof. Dr. Razia Sultana, Vice-Chancellor of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, members of academia from across the country, media and students from various departments of the University of Peshawar.
HSF is the oldest German political foundation in Pakistan, and it has been implementing over 97 projects in about 71 countries worldwide. In Pakistan, it has focused on projects related to the rule of law, the strengthening of regional understanding, the promotion of academic expertise, and a better understanding of Pakistan’s political system. For more information on HSF please visit: https://pakistan.hss.de. Press contact: islamabad(at)hss.de.