The meeting of the Senate Forum for Policy Research (SFPR) convened on Tuesday at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS).
Chaired by Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, the meeting was attended by Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Mir Muhammad Naseer Mengal, Senator Sehar Kamran, Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour, Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini.
The meeting commenced with a discussion on the integrity of Parliament. Chairman Committee, Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi was of the view that it was the responsibility of Parliamentarians to ensure that the democratic system in Pakistan is not compromised. He said that a seminar must be conducted on a very high level so that senior politicians can share their wisdom with the younger generation. This will help stop blotting of the Parliamentary process, he added.
While discussing the issue of population planning in Pakistan Senator Dr. Jehnzeb Jamaldini was of the view that saving lives is more important than population control. He said that as mentioned by population experts in a meeting previously the concept of Universal Health Coverage presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) is important and must be pursued on both provincial and national levels.
Senator Afrasiab Khattak was of the view that the Council of Common Interest and the Ministry of Interprovincial Coordination (IPC) must play its role in promoting population control in Pakistan.
Senator Ilyas Bilour opined that it would be beneficial if Pakistan learned from the example of its neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh and Indonesia. Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan was of the view that it was imperative that the forum focussed on the issues that stem from population growth.
Senator Sehar Kamran said that there was a strong need that Pakistan transitioned to a welfare state. She said that the tendency of distribution of amenities and assets on the basis of population size must be curbed.
Chairman Committee, Senator Col (R) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi directed that members must study the population report in detail and submit written recommendations in 20 days to the Committee.