Around three dozen young Pakistanis will soon be assisting the country’s parliamentary committees in conducting legislative research.
As part of the Young Parliamentary Associates (YPA) Programme 2013-14, 34 Pakistani youths started their training session at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) on Monday.
The participants were welcomed by Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Ali Baloch.
Baloch said the YPA initiative was bound to make a positive contribution to democracy in the country. He said he was confident the young Pakistanis would prove to be a useful resource for parliament.
The YPA programme is the brainchild of the European Union-funded Improving Parliamentary Performance (IP3) project, which is being implemented in collaboration with PIPS.
The associates will be helping Senate and National Assembly committees over a period of 15 months by conducting research and analysis, preparing reports, drafting memos and attending committee meetings and hearings, according to the British Council’s website. The Council is handling communications for the IP3 project.
PIPS Executive Director Khan Ahmad Goraya said the YPA training had been designed to teach participants about the working of the parliament, role of its secretariats, committees and legislative research.
Goraya said the training would also help the YPAs in building skills related to legislative drafting, technical report writing and official correspondence.
IP3 team leader Anitra Jankevica said she was impressed by the Pakistani youth’s commitment to the country’s progress.
“The YPAs reflect the continuing interest of parliament and its associated bodies to strengthen Pakistan’s democracy by employing the most qualified human resources to help in the research
and support required for sound lawmaking,” said Jankevica.
The YPAs were selected after an application and shortlisting process conducted by the National Testing Service.
The candidates were required to have a minimum of 16 years education from an institution recognised by the Higher Education Commission, with minimum 87 per cent marks.
Only graduates of Law, Defence & Strategic Studies, International Relations, Economics, Public Administration, Political Science, Development, Business Administration and Finance were eligible to apply.
British Council Marketing and Communications Manager Shaheryar Zaidi said the YPA training at PIPS will continue for three weeks after which the associates will start working with parliamentary committees.
Zaidi added that the associates will also get placement at PIPS for one and a half years.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.