About the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
In a ceremony held June 17, 2010, Pakistan National Assembly Speaker Dr. Fehmida Mirza and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Gerald M. Feierstein commemorated the official launch of construction for the new home of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS). The facility, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will serve as an independent research and training center for all of Pakistan's legislative branches.
“This is a momentous occasion in the parliamentary history of Pakistan,” said Speaker Mirza. “This is part of our continuing efforts to make parliament strong and effective. The institute will provide exclusive research, analysis, and briefings for parliamentarians on public policy issues and legislative initiatives.”
The four-floor, 55,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility will hold offices, seminar rooms, a library, and an auditorium. The institute will support PIPS professional development and orientation programs for parliamentarians and staff, data collection and organization to assist parliamentarians in their work, and independent research on topical issues.
“This facility is a symbol of Pakistan's commitment to responsive, accountable governance and a bridge between the legislatures in Pakistan and the experience of parliamentary institutes around the world,” Mr. Feierstein said. “This bridge can lead to diverse experiences for Pakistani legislators and open up new avenues for strengthening relationships between Pakistan and the community of democracies.”