Islamabad: The signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement between the Forum of Federations and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is held today here in Islamabad. The ceremony was arranged by the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination.
Pakistan has signed the membership agreement with the Forum of Federations, thereby becoming a member-state of the organization with the other leading Federations such as Australia, Brazil, India and Switzerland. The agreement was signed by the Secretary of Inter-Provincial Coordination Anis-ul-Hasnain Musavi on behalf of the Republic and Ms. Sheela Embounou, Head of Monitoring and Funder Relations, representing Forum of Federations. The Honourable Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and Senator Afrasyab Khatak also attended the ceremony.
While speaking at the occasion, Ms. Sheela Embounou congratulated Pakistan on becoming a member of the Forum of Federations. She said that Pakistan is growing as a strong federation and as such other countries will learn from the experiences of Pakistan and vice versa. She praised Senator Mian Raza Rabbani for his commendable efforts for strong federalism in Pakistan.
Addressing the participants of the ceremony, Federal Minister Bijarani said, “It is a historic day in the history of Pakistan when the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is becoming a member of the Forum of Federations”. He further said that it is indicative of recognition of Pakistan as a strong federation by the international community.
The Minister hoped to learn from other strong Federations by virtue of the membership of the Forum of Federations. Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani paid special reverence to the Former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who laid the meaningful ideals of federalism in the 1973 Constitution. Referring to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, Minister Bijarani hailed the sincere and prolific efforts of Mian Raza Rabbani, who is the mind behind the amendment and played significant role in its passage.
Senator Mian Raza Rabbani also delivered a short speech at this auspicious occasion. Senator Rabbani said, “The Eighteenth Constitution Amendment would have been impossible without the cooperation of the active democratic forces in Pakistan”.
He further said that Pakistan will certainly become a role model of federalism for the Federations across the globe. He said with utter confidence that after the Eighteenth Amendment the provinces have progressed towards self-sufficiency. He said, “After the Eighteenth Amendment, the provinces now have fifty per cent share of gas and petroleum”.
It is worth mentioning that the Forum of Federations is an international organization based in Ottawa, Canada. The Forum and its partners form a global network on federalism. It brings together elected officials, civil servants and experts in federalism from about 20 countries to learn from each other.
The ceremony was also attended by foreign diplomats.
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