Federalism and Democracy – Pakistan’s Experience and Challenges

Forwarded by Khalid Hashmani (McLean, Virginia, USA)
“The breakup of Pakistan would be a costly and destabilizing development that can still be avoided, but only if the United States and other foreign donors use their enormous aid leverage to convince Islamabad that it should not only put the 1973 Constitution back into effect, but amend it to go beyond the limited degree of autonomy it envisaged. Eventually, the minorities want a central government that would retain control only over defense, foreign affairs, international trade, communications and currency. It would no longer have the power to oust an elected provincial government, and would have to renegotiate royalties on resources with the provinces.”


——
To: Sohailansari2001@ aol.com
Subject: WSI-Event: Federalism and Democracy – Pakistan’s Experience and Challenges
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 16:40:21 -0400
From: sohailansari2001@ aol.com

FEDERALISM AND DEMOCRACY – PAKISTAN’S EXPERIENCE AND CHALLENGES
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advance International Studies
John Hopkins University, Washington, DC
Room#806, The Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036-2213

Friday, March 20th, 2009
12 Noon to 3:15 PM
Lunch Provided

12:00 Noon Registration and Lunch
12:30 PM Welcome
12:45 PM Panel Discussion Starts (Each panelist have 20 minutes)
1:45 PM Open Q&A Session (1 hour and 15 minutes)
3:00 PM Closing Remarks
3:15 PM End

FEDERALISM AND DEMOCRACY – PAKISTAN’S EXPERIENCE AND CHALLENGES
International Seminar Organized by: The World Sindhi Institute (WSI)

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advance International Studies
John Hopkins University, Washington, DC
Room#806, The Rome Building, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036-2213

Friday, March 20th, 2009
12 Noon to 3:15 PM
Lunch Provided

Embattled with poverty, lawlessness, environmental degradation, cross-boarder conflicts, and swelling population, Pakistan continues to operate under the pretext of state Islamization inspired by nuclear empowerment, state militarization, and US Aid guarantees. Corrupt and undemocratic mode of governance engineered by military and civil-bureaucracy with little to no regard for its founding principles of constitutional democracy, secularism, rule-of-law, provincial autonomy, and basic human rights, the state is once again at the brink of social and political debacle.

· Is Pakistan ready for constitutional democracy and embrace secularism?

· Can centralization be replaced by provincial Autonomy and sovereignty?

· Can judiciary be independent and the rule of law be restored?

· Can there be a development- path which is sustainable, and accessible to all people and all regions of Pakistan?

The seminar is design to invoke a meaningful dialogue among students, academics, scholars, and activists alike who are particularly concerned about the future of Pakistan and its relationship with the international community.
Panelist
Zahid Makhdoom
Member World Sindhi Institute’s Board of Directors is based in Vancouver, Canada, where he works as a Justice at the Provincial Court of British Columbia. Born in Sindh, Makhdoom has persistently struggled for human rights of people of Sindh, for which he was imprisoned in 1971-72 for ten months. Zahid Makhdoom is an extremely engaging and dynamic speaker, with extensive knowledge of politics and culture of South Asia, particularly Sindh, Pakistan. His subject of interest is indigenous people all over the world and their political relations with states.

Selig S Harrison
Selig S Harrison is a director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has specialized in South Asia and East Asia for fifty years as a journalist and scholar. He is the author of five books on Asian affairs and U.S. relations with Asia and has co-authored and edited many books.
Jami Chandio
Jami Chandio is executive director of the Center for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS), a think tank based in Pakistan’s Sindh province. He edits CPCS’ quarterly journal Freedom. One of Pakistan’s most celebrated journalists, Mr. Chandio is the former editor of Ibrat, Pakistan’s largest Sindhi-language daily newspaper, a former anchor on Sindh TV and KTN, and former chair of the Liberal Forum of Pakistan. He has worked with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Pakistan as a political expert since 2004. During his fellowship, Mr. Chandio is studying the problems of federalism and prospects for provincial autonomy, including constitutional mechanisms that can be used to prevent, manage, and resolve intra-state conflict in Pakistan.
—-
“The breakup of Pakistan would be a costly and destabilizing development that can still be avoided, but only if the United States and other foreign donors use their enormous aid leverage to convince Islamabad that it should not only put the 1973 Constitution back into effect, but amend it to go beyond the limited degree of autonomy it envisaged. Eventually, the minorities want a central government that would retain control only over defense, foreign affairs, international trade, communications and currency. It would no longer have the power to oust an elected provincial government, and would have to renegotiate royalties on resources with the provinces.”
Selig S Harrison, New York Times, February 1, 2008.
“Radical Islamic groups, which portray themselves as the guardians of Pakistan’s ideology, have had a special status conferred on them by the military and civil bureaucracy that normally governs Pakistan. The Islamists claim that they are the protectors of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent capabilities, as well as the champion of the national cause of securing Kashmir for Pakistan. Secular politicians who seek greater autonomy for Pakistan’s different regions or demand that religion be kept out of the business of the state have come under attack from the Islamists for deviating from Pakistan’s ideology.”
Husain Haqqani, “The Role of Islam in Pakistan’s Future”, The Washington Quarterly, Winter 2004-05.
The World Sindhi Institute (WSI) § 6965 S Craig Ct., Franklin, Wisconsin § 414.235.3610 § local: 703-801-8519
http://www.worldsindhi.org

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