Mr Sardar Hussain Babak MPA has hailed Tynwald ‘a parliament of great maturity’ and been left ‘very impressed’ by the Manx legislative process after attending briefing sessions with his fellow parliamentarians from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly (KPA).
Mr Babak, who led the delegation, said: ‘It has been a very positive and informative experience to learn about the law-making process which gives all stakeholders a voice and reflects the needs of society as a whole, so strengthens the legislative response.
‘We are a legislature of just 70 years of age but what we have witnessed in the Isle of Man is a parliament of great maturity and it has been most rewarding to meet with such seasoned, experienced individuals. We want to bring about change and reform in our society - in education, health, infrastructure and human rights, for example – and engage better with the people. To achieve that needs collective wisdom; this we have experienced during our time in Tynwald.’
Echoing Mr Babak’s sentiments fellow delegate Mr Raja Faisal Zaman MPA said: ‘I found the briefings on parliamentary committees, their functions and relationship with government, of particular interest. I was also impressed by the opportunities for challenge and the level of freedom of speech enjoyed by all stakeholders. In our country we are all working very hard to bring about change but there are so many issues to be addressed and not everyone is “on the same page”. In the Isle of Man, though, we’ve seen a more collective parliamentary approach that reflects the will of the people. We have gone through some dark periods but we believe it’s never too late to change. We will take back much from our experiences of Tynwald and will work to implement change, but we know it will take time.’
The absence of political parties in the Isle of Man prompted Mr Muhammad Zahid Durrani KPA to say: ‘At home each party has its own ideology which can detract from working towards change. We need consistency of policies. For us it’s now or never. We are blessed with natural resources but cannot match the parliamentary maturity of Tynwald.’
For Mr Abdul Sattar Khan MPA the experience of learning from Tynwald and seeing some of the Island moved him to write: ‘The Isle of Man is the Eye of the Earth and the 10th wonder of the World. The Hidden Heaven Supat Valley in my consistency Kohistan and the Isle of Man are two twin areas of natural beauty and pasture land.’
The July study visit, which also provided an opportunity for delegates to attend the St John’s Tynwald Day proceedings, formed part of a capacity-building programme launched in September 2016 and sponsored by the British Council. By the end of December 2017 it is expected that the 124-strong KPA membership, in groups of around 10 delegates at one time, will have travelled to the Isle of Man for parliamentary exposure and training programmes arranged by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office.
Mr Sardar Hussain Babak MPA is pictured second row centre, with fellow delegates from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. Picture Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal