Pakistan’s Youth Learn Basics of Democracy in Internship Programme

“I studied public administration at one of the top private universities in Pakistan, but we never learned how the elected assemblies function. In law school, we were never taught the law-making process and essentials of good law. This is my first-time meeting people from across Pakistan and learning about the importance of the cultural diversity necessary for a democratic society.“

This and similar reflections were shared at the seven-day training organised by DRI for 20 new parliamentary interns from four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in October. A part of DRI’s Parliamentary Internship Programme, the training focused on the fundamental principles and core concepts of democracy, parliamentary processes and human rights.

The programme aims to respond to a lack of technical and administrative resources, and to provide human resources to parliamentary services on a provincial level.

“The internship programme for provincial assemblies is an excellent initiative given that assemblies do not have enough resources to address the human resource needs,” said Attaullah Khan, the Special Secretary to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Speaker Office.

Over the next six months, the interns will work with provincial assemblies from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “We are excited to go out and support the provincial assemblies in carrying out their essential functions,” said one participant.

The internship programme has received widespread support from various parliamentary quarters including secretariats from the provincial assemblies.

“The Internship Programme is a positive and necessary step,” said Mr. Zafarullah Khan of Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Service. “Youth are an important segment of Pakistani society and linking them with elected houses will help advance democracy in the country.”

DRI designed and carried out the training programme in collaboration with Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS).

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