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, Peshawar and Quetta.
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 development, such as non-traditional security challenges.
Until today, these HSF projects have encompassed training sessions, publications, seminars and conferences where researchers and experts from around the world share and exchange their thoughts and experiences. Moreover, the Foundation offers various scholarships to outstanding scholars and students from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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 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 policy, 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 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.
Since many years, the Munich-based HSF has closely collaborated with the Munich Security Conference, the world’s leading independent forum for debating international security policy.
The Foundation offers scholarships to talented 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 also supports talented Afghan refugee students in Pakistan with comprehensive scholarships to strengthen the regional stability in Pakistan-Afghanistan through education: the students are enabled to finance their university studies, receive additional trainings, do internships, and apply their knowledge regionally.
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 has renewed its long-standing cooperation with the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination by signing a MoU in 2021. 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 have been collaborating since 2021 on the nationwide expansion of the PCDP project.
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. Both organizations support Afghan refugees who are officially registered in Pakistan with academic scholarships as part of the Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program.
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 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).
IBA Karachi is one of the premier most educational institutes in Pakistan. It has developed strong academic and professional linkages during decades of services, which span across the country and on an international level as well. HSF Pakistan has started to work with IBA Karachi in the fields of Model CCI and Climate Action in 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 supports excellent Pakistani and Afghan PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and professors to visit IFF for up to six months.
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 closely collaborates with the Munich Security Conference, the world's most important independent annual conference on international security policy.
The Conference usually assembles more than 450 senior decision-makers as well as distinguished leaders from around the world, including heads of states, governments and international organizations, to debate pressing issues of international security policy in Munich, Germany.
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.
If your organization wants to collaborate with HSF Pakistan on one of its focus areas mentioned above, please first check "On working with HSF Pakistan" on the FAQ page and then contact the HSF Management Team at islamabad(at)hss.de with a specific project proposal.
The Mini-Docuseries "The Refugee Stories: Afghan Lives in Pakistan" (2022) aims to highlight the struggles and successes of Afghan refugee role models and community leaders who have excelled in adversity. The mission of HSF Pakistan and NDF is to bridge the gap between the refugee and host communities and show how refugees and migrants excel due to their hard work and perseverance and contribute to the Pakistani society as well as the Afghan diaspora.
HSF Pakistan and its partner organizations celebrated the UN's International Youth Day on 12 August 2022.
"Nothing is more important for sustainable development than young people. [...] When provided with knowledge, imagination and opportunities, a country's youth can truly make a difference. For that, they don’t need critics, but role models and dialogue across generations. They need to be inspired!", HSF Resident Representative Dr. Steffen Kudella in his video message for the Prime Minister's Youth Programme said.
Team HSF Pakistan added in its video message: "[...] Education and imagination are your most powerful tools. So don't bury your visions and don't be afraid to chase your dreams because you can make a difference [...]."
HSF proudly supports Pakistan's and Afghanistan's Young Leaders with numerous training and networking activities. Watch the two videos below to find out more.
HSF proudly supports numerous delegation trips of Pakistani and Afghan stakeholders to Europe per year. For more information on this and regular updates please look for "Calls for Applications" at the News section (see above) and stay tuned via HSF's numerous social media channels (see below).
In July 2022, Ms. Zalanda Waqar Shah from Pakistan and Ms. Tayyeba Alami from Afghanistan have attended HSF's International Summer School on Social Market Economy 2022 as young delegates in Fürth, Middle Franconia, Germany. Watch their video below to find out more.
HSF Pakistan co-organizes the new HSF Asia initiative for future leaders: in order to gain an understanding of different perspectives in society and politics, young Pakistani and Afghan stakeholders are enabled to engage with their South Asian and global counterparts.
In 2022 HSF Pakistan carried out multiple activities including conferences, roundtables, delegation trips, trainings, scholarships, internships and publications through its implementing partners. A quick recap can be found below.
HSF's new flagship Hanns Seidel Scholarship Program (HSSP) aims to support talented Afghan students in Pakistan to contribute to the rebuilding of their home country when returning to Afghanistan.
The students are officially registered as refugees in Pakistan and enrolled at Pakistani universities. In line with the policies of the Government of Pakistan, HSSP includes financial grants, conceptual support and professional development opportunities.
Watch the video message from HSSP students, NDF and HSF on the World Refugee Day 2022 below.
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.
Hanns Seidel Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan
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 17:30 (Pakistan Time).