NDI Pakistan, in collaboration with NDI Brussels, is organizing a Study Tour to the Netherlands for 13 Pakistani political party activists, including 8 women and 5 men, from June 4 through June 10. The participants, active in NDI’s youth and women’s programs, represent all four provinces and a range of political parties in Pakistan — including the Awami National Party (ANP), National Party (NP), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League (PML), and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N).
The criteria for the selection of political parties to participate in this mission were based on participation in current NDI programs in political parties for youth and women. The strongest participants from these programs were selected in consultation with their respective political parties.
During the study tour, the participants will have the opportunity to exchange views with Dutch political party representatives on a variety of issues. Among these topics are internal party organization, gender issues, youth participation, communications, coalition building, campaigning, and fundraising.
Once the participants return to Pakistan they will explore opportunities to incorporate their experience into the action plans they are implementing in their respective parties through their existing NDI program.
Over the last 20 years, NDI has organized numerous study missions around the world, encouraging political party members and legislators to interact with their counterparts and learn from the experiences of multiparty democracies. Recent missions involved exchanges between Iraqi and Canadian political party activists; Croatian and British party representatives; and Bulgarian and Dutch parliamentarians. These missions exposed political party officials to alternative means to organize their parties and conduct activities. Participants also learned about new ways to manage their disagreements and conflicts, thereby improving relations between ruling and opposition parties.
Such results would have particular relevance in Pakistan where parliamentary elections are due within the next eight months. Restoration of a democratically elected parliament in Pakistan would represent an opportunity for political parties to marshal forces for reform and advance the transfer of power from the military to civilian rule.
Published on June 4, 2007