17 countries’ reps to participate in Int’l Constitution Convention

Islamabad: Illustrious political leaders, erudite legal experts and scholarly luminaries along with eminent civil society, women activists, youth and minorities representatives of more than 17 countries will participate in the International Constitution Convention to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Constitution in the National Assembly of Pakistan from May 10-11.

The event marks the culmination of the month-long celebrations orchestrated by the National Assembly under the leadership of Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf to honour the Golden Jubilee of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

This august document, enacted on April 10, 1973, under the visionary leadership of the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, remains a testament to the enduring resilience and fortitude of the nation.

On the special invitation of NA Speaker, the distinguished Chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will himself lead a delegation of great goodwill to this highly anticipated event.

Parliamentary delegations from eminent nations such as Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, led by their esteemed deputy speakers/chairmen, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Additionally, the United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya, Oman, and Iran will also be represented by esteemed chairpersons of their respective committees, who will lend their formidable expertise to the gathering. Moreover, distinguished parliamentarians of Pakistani descent from both the United States and the United Kingdom also will grace the event with their esteemed presence, adding to the richness and diversity of the gathering.

Parliamentary leaders, members of parliament, federal ministers, chief ministers and seasoned politicians are participating in the event.

Following the opening session on May 10, a plenary session on “Separation of Powers: Balancing Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Functions” will be held.

The session, chaired by Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf, will be an insightful discussion on an essential topic.

The day will continue with three breakout sessions happening simultaneously. Session-1 will be led by Ms Nafisa Shah, MNA, and will explore the challenges and opportunities of federalism and devolution of powers.

Session-II will be chaired by Qamar Zaman Kaira, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, and will address issues concerning the Constitution and representation, with a focus on ensuring free and fair elections.

Romina Khursheed Alam, Convenor SDGs Taskforce/SAPM, will lead Session-III on “Multilateral Framework for Global Responsibility and Climate Justice: A Case Study of 2022 Floods in Pakistan.”

The final plenary session of the day will be chaired by Ms Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

The session will address the topic of “Balancing Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Functions: Ensuring Separation of Powers,” and promises to be an engaging discussion.

On the second day, the convention will begin with a recap of the first day’s proceedings.

The day will feature a plenary session on “Constitution in the Age of Crises: Navigating Challenges,” chaired by Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, MNA. The session will explore how constitutions can navigate the challenges posed by crises such as pandemics, natural disasters, and political unrest.

The day will also have three simultaneous breakout sessions on various constitutional issues. Session-I will focus on fundamental rights and the Constitution’s protection, implementation, and challenges under the chairpersonship of Shaza Fatima Khawaja, SAPM. Session-II will be on “Constitution and the Courts – Interpreting Constitution, Protecting Rights and Freedoms,” led by Ms Shazia Marri, Minister of Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety. The third session will be held on “Constitution and Economic Justice” under the chairpersonship of Syed Mustafa Mehmood, MNA.

The second day will conclude with a session on “Building Inclusive and Equal Societies: Challenges and Opportunities,” chaired by Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf.

The keynote address will be delivered by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who will share his insights on the role of the Constitution in building inclusive and equal societies.

The convention will conclude with the passage of an outcome document that will lay down guidelines for further action to enhance cooperation among the participating states.

Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf will also engage in one-on-one meetings, on the margins of the convention, offering a rare opportunity for intimate and profound conversations that promise to deepen understanding and strengthen bonds between the delegates and their illustrious host.