Thursday, May 22, 2014 - Islamabad—The second group of 35 Young Parliamentary Associations (YPAs) selected and trained as part of the European Union funding Improving Parliamentary Performance in Pakistan (IP3) project, received their certificates at the end of three-week long training on Wednesday. Acting Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch was the chief guest at the ceremony. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb, MNA Asiya Nasir, Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan and Team Leader IP3 Ms. Niamh O’Connor also attended the event. Addressing the ceremony Acting Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch said that the IP3 project has been instrumental in strengthening the relationship between the EU and the Parliament.
He emphasized the need for greater collaboration between the EU and the parliament. He said that the YPAs are assisting the parliament and also having significant exposure to the parliamentary process. He said that in the recent years the Senate has played a larger role in strengthening democracy.
He also said that a strategic plan has been developed and with the assistance of the EU the strategy can be further refined. He hoped that the YPAs will bring new ideas and approaches to the parliament and he looks forward to further institutional collaboration between the EU and the Parliament. MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the young professional are helping to fill the gaps in the parliament secretariat. She said that the recruitment process has been improved and it is in line with the strategic framework devised by the parliament.
Mr. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark EU Ambassador also addressed the gathering saying “it is good to hear that these young and talented Pakistani graduates are appreciated by both the National Assembly and Senate as a significant resource, adding to the Parliament’s analytical, research and legislative drafting capacity. He said that some of these young professionals may go on to hold more permanent positions in the Secretariat of the Parliament or who knows, may even one day enter politics themselves. The certificates were presented by Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch and Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan.