The head of the first delegation from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to have completed a two day study visit to Tynwald as part of a capacity building programme has said he was very impressed by the experience.
Mr Sultan Muhammad Khan MPA led the 13-strong delegation from the Pakistan province to the Isle of Man, the first attachment in a British Council-sponsored project which will see the Assembly’s 124 Members in approximately 10 groups of 10 delegates travel to the Island to participate in a parliamentary training and exposure programme arranged by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office.
The project is set to run until December 2017 and will include attachments to the Scottish Parliament and Westminster.
Mr Khan said: ‘Following the 2013 elections around 90 per cent of our Members were new, even the Speaker, so parliamentary training and exposure is needed in order to bring about change.
‘We have therefore been most impressed to learn of the 1000 years of Tynwald. We would see this observation and exploration of Tynwald’s parliamentary procedures perhaps leading eventually to some features being incorporated into our parliament.’
He continued: ‘The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is very democratic so we appreciate how Tynwald functions. We are, however, working towards a more open parliament. We have therefore been most interested to study Tynwald’s e-governance and Hansard operations and impressed by how much information Members can access online.
‘The whole process has stimulated discussion, generated useful debate and proved most enjoyable.’
A spokesman for the British Council said: ‘The programme is a major step forward with our work to support the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and will create stronger links between the British Isles and Pakistan. We are thrilled to have partnered with Tynwald to share their technical expertise to build stronger parliamentary and legislative processes. This programme offers a platform for parliamentarians from both countries to engage in mutual learning, spread democratic values and exchange best practices.’
Delegation leader Mr Sultan Muhammad Khan MPA is pictured presenting the President of Tynwald the Hon Steve Rodan MLC with a plaque bearing the emblem of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, as his fellow delegates look on. Photo: Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal