The head of the final delegation to Tynwald from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly (KPA), Deputy Speaker Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, has declared the study visit to be ‘quite a revelation’.
Dr Roghani said: ‘To learn that there were impressive processes to achieve consensus came as a complete surprise – quite a revelation. This is in sharp contrast to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly where proceedings are marked - and often hampered by - opposition.
‘As is so often the case in developing countries, our democratic process is very immature. I hope, though, that the day might come when opposition will no longer be such a barrier to serving the electorate to the best of our ability and to strengthening parliamentary democracy.’
Dr Roghani went on to praise ‘the vision’ of the British Council for sponsoring the capacity-building programme and thanked the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office for arranging the parliamentary exposure and training sessions delivered to most of the 124-strong KPA Assembly since September 2016. She said: ‘We will be holding our elections in May of this year and while we are the last delegation of this current administration to have attended this programme, I hope more from the Assembly will come in the future. Many Members will be new to the job so will benefit greatly from this exposure.’
Joining the KPA delegation on a scoping mission were three Members from the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. Among them was seasoned politician Mr Hamid Khan Achakzai who said: ‘My constituency numbers around 350,000 so to come to the Isle of Man with a population of just some 80,000 and study a parliament with such a long tradition is extremely interesting.
‘I believe parliament should be supreme and we are striving to shift from political to democratic rule so we may serve our people better. It is important we adopt democratic values, so there is much we could learn from Tynwald.’
Photo of KPA delegates courtesy of Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal