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Democracy derives strength from Parliament: Marriyum
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb Wednesday said that strong provincial assemblies were sine qua non for a tensile democracy and only the strong federating units could build a strong federation and parliament. She said that democracy derived its strength from the Parliament. The minister was addressing the launching ceremony of a project titled “Provincial Pakistan— Strengthening Provincial Assemblies” in collaboration with European Union, as chief guest. Marriyum eulogizing the EU initiative for strengthening the provincial assemblies as an encouraging step remarked that it would contribute immensely towards reinforcing democracy in the country. Aurangzeb elaborated that all the key components of the ‘Subai' project were initiated by the National Assembly in 2013 after the establishment of Project Management Unit at the National Assembly by Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker NA. The minister observed that the technical assistance of the members of the national and provincial assemblies, senators and human resource development in their secretariats were imperative for the smooth functioning of democracy. She also acknowledged the important role played by Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Studies and the support extended by it for creating enabling environment for the parliament to gain strength. She revealed that the programme for institutional Assembly development was initiated in the National Assembly in 2014 and now it was also being replicated and extended to the four provincial legislatures and also Gilgit Baltistan and AJK. A Landmark Legislative Drafting Council is established for enabling parliamentarians for evidence based legislation to represent people of Pakistan. She informed the audience that the parliament of Pakistan is the first Parliament in the World to have Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Secretariat to engage parliamentarians in the discourse of human Development indicators to exercise a robust oversight on the projects run by the government under the sustainable development goals and the targets set by Pakistan by it were also being set at the provincial assemblies. Furthermore, the SDGs secretariat is also providing assistance to the provincial assemblies in this regard. Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that under the able leadership of Speaker National Assembly, the subject of parliamentary studies has been included in the curriculum of various educational institutions and the initiative would help the new generation to learn more about democracy and democratic institutions for the first time in Pakistan. An unprecedented Young Parliamentary Associates Programme to engage youth of the country to Parliament was started to augment the Parliamentary outreach across the country Speaking at the forum she highlighted that the Parliamentary Strengthening Projects used to be signed at EAD in past but this is the first time that the projects are developed and signed at the Parliament and by the Parliamentarians and are now being replicated at the provincial assemblies. She also informed the gathering that the entire building of the Parliament was now being energized by the solar power, which was a unique achievement and also had a symbolic significance with regard to energy rehabilitation in the country. Speakers from provincial assemblies, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit- Baltistan and EU ambassador Jean Francois Cautain also addressed the ceremony.


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