Mock student parliament stresses peace

LAHORE: Students attending a three-day mock parliament in the city, on its concluding day Sunday, stressed that Pakistan and India should resolve all their outstanding issues amicably and remove all irritants to peace.The mock parliament, the first of its kind in Pakistan, was organised by Seeds of Peace, an organisation that works towards promotion of peace in conflict regions, at FC College on Sunday.The purpose of the mock parliament was to create political awareness among students in addition to learning parliamentary procedures. A group of 28 students from 10 different schools of Lahore attended the mock parliament and acted as members of Indian Lok Sabha. The Indian parliament’s structure was replicated issues affecting both neighbourly countries were discuss.On the first day of the proceedings, mock MPs (students) elected their speaker and prime minister from various parliamentary parties. Then the elected PM and the speaker delivered their opening addresses. The mock parliamentarians were later split into three parliamentary committees (Economic Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Interior) in order to discuss several issues of political importance.On the second day, mock MPs, both from the ruling party and the opposition, had an intense general debate, highlighting the major issues facing India, with relevance to Pakistan. Most of the issues were economic, political and territorial such as Kashmir and Maoist movements.

The mock parliament witnessed a heated discussion and both sides found themselves at odds on a number of points, enabling the students to learn negotiation skills. When the session resumed after lunch, the question hour began and the mock MPs asked their respective opponents a series of questions. The Parliamentary Committees then sat together to come up with drafts of their resolutions.On the last day, the main focus was voting on these resolutions. The mock MPs with their respective party advisers suggested practical solutions regarding the unrest and insecurity in India and Pakistan.

Prof Alivna Waseem, Coordinator Formanites Debating Society, gave away certificates of participation to the students. Sajjad Ahmad, President Seeds of Peace, Lahore, thanked the participants and their parents for their positive contribution and hoped that such peace activities should continue in future. He particularly thanked the management team, including Fahad Ali Kazmi, Rafay Aziz, Arsa Tariq and Mehreen Arif  – Dailymailnews