WFD started working in Pakistan in 2012 by supporting the federal and provincial legislatures. Over the years WFD has worked with various stakeholders to strengthen the parliamentary system in Pakistan. Currently, WFD’s work in Pakistan is focused on two broad themes; promoting accountable politics by assisting the parliament to scrutinise government performance through legislative and financial oversight mechanisms, and improving marginalised and vulnerable groups’ access to formal and informal political participation. This includes strengthening women’s political leadership to help achieve meaningful formal political participation for women in Pakistan. To achieve the desired changes, WFD is working with Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS), Women Parliamentary Caucus Pakistan, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) task-forces and secretariats at federal and provincial levels.
Aspiration for democracy can be recognized as an enduring feature of Pakistani people culture, history and politics. Prolonged dictatorships, obliterated democratic norms, stifled democratic values have not been able to affect the persistent vigour and vitality towards a democratic parliamentary system. This determination has recently been rewarded with over a decade long democracy and two transitions of powers between elected governments. While these transitions represent evolution and development of democratic system, it has raised certain expectations among citizens for democratic dividend which can only be delivered through stronger federal and provincial parliaments.
WFD has worked with the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab in partnership with PIPS to support the Assembly with its new powers after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 2010, giving considerable new responsibilities to the provinces. Concurrently, WFD was a consortium partner in the EU funded programme; “Improving Parliamentary Performance in Pakistan,” which worked with the federal parliament. Since 2015, WFD extended our engagement at the provincial level to the Sindh region. In addition, we have deepened our relationship with PIPS and the federal parliament and have extended our support to include legislative drafting where Pakistan and the UK have a shared legal tradition.